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Full text of "Yesterday, to-day, and for ever : a poem, in twelve books"

FROM THE LIBRARY OF 

REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON, D. D. 

BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO 

THE LIBRARY OF 

PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 

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YESTERDAY, 
TO-DAY, AND FOR EVER. 



YESTERDAY, 




FOR EYER: 



a $oem, 



IN TWELVE BOOKS, 



EDWARD HENRY BICKERSTETH, M.A. 

INCUMBENT OF CHRIST CHURCH, HAMPSTEAD, 
AND CHAPLAIN TO THE BISHOP OF RIPON. 



KIVINGTONS, 

Honfcon, <%fortr, anfc Cam&rfoge. 

1866. 



The design of the following poem has been laid up in 
my heart for more than twenty years. Other claims 
however prevented me from seriously undertaking the 
work until little more than two years ago. But then 
the deep conviction,, that those solemn events, to which 
the latter books of my poem relate, were already begin- 
ning to cast their prophetic lights and shadows on the 
world, constrained me to make the attempt. If it may 
please God to awaken any minds to deeper thought on 
things unseen and eternal, by this humble effort to 
combine some of the pictorial teaching supplied by His 
most holy Word, it will be the answer to many prayers. 



E. H. B. 



Hampstead, Loudon, 

September 7th, 1866. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/todaiyfoOObick 



CONTENTS. 

BOOK PAGE 

I. The Seer's Death, and Descent to Hades .... 1 

II. The Paradise of the Blessed Dead 33 

III. The Prison of the Lost 71 

IV. The Creation of Angels and of Men 112 

V. The Fall of Angels and of Men 148 

VI. The Empire of Darkness 183 

VII. Redemption . .210 

VIII. The Church Militant 251 

IX. The Bridal of the Lamb 289 

X. The Millennial Sabbath 314 

XI. The Last Judgment 336 

XII. The Many Mansions 373 

Notes . 397 



YESTERDAY, 
TO-DAY, AND FOR EVER. 



BOOK I. 

THE SEEE/S DEATH, AND DESCENT TO HADES. 

The last day of my earthly pilgrimage 

Was closing ; and the end was peace : for, as 

The sunset glory on the hills grew pale, 

The burning fever left me — I was free 

From pain — albeit my strength was ebbing fast. 

And quickly as dreams, though not confusedly, 

The landscapes of my life before me rose, 

From the first breath of dewy morn to that 

Its sultry afternoon. Nor seemed my past, 

As often heretofore in retrospect, 10 

A fragmentary discontinuous whole, 

But one and indivisible, — a brief 

Short journey, only steepest at the last. 

Seven nights agone the message came for me. 
The midnight chimes had struck : the echoes sank 



:2 THE SEEll's DEATH, [BOOK 

Far in the distance, and the air grew still, — 

A strange oppressive stillness. In the woods 

The leaves were motionless, and on the grass 

Unwavering the moonlight shadows slept. 

And I was communing* with solitude, 20 

And listening to the silence ; when I thought 

A voice, as of an angel, spake to me, 

" Thy time is come, prepare to meet thy God." 

Twas gently spoken, yet a sudden chill 

Struck to my heart ; for I was scarcely more 

Than midway on life's pathway, nor had thought 

For long years to lay down my pilgrim's staff, 

Unless the Bridegroom's voice were heard in heaven. 

And was I now already summon'd home ? 

I ask'd, and half incredulously gazed 30 

Upon the crystal of that starlit sky, 

Until again within my spirit's depths 

I seem'd to hear that subtle spiritual voice, 

" Seven days, and thou shalt enter into rest." 

And then I knew it was no idle dream/ 

I felt that One was standing by me, whom 

I saw not, and with trembling lips replied, 

" Thou calledst me, O Lord, and here am I." 

That night I spent in prayer. The lamp that hung 
Suspended in my chamber slowly paled 40 

And flicker'd in its socket. But my soul 
Was lit up with a clearer purer light, 
The daybreak of a near eternity, 



I.J AND DESCENT TO HADES. 3 

Which cast its penetrating 1 beams across 

The isthmus of my life, and fringed with gold 

The mists of childhood, and revealed beyond 

The outline of the everlasting hills. 

'Twas more than half a jubilee of years 

Since first I knelt a suppliant at the throne 

Of mercy, and bewaiFd my sins, and heard 50 

The voice of absolution, " Go in peace \" 

And daily since that birth-time of my soul 

Had I found shelter at the feet of Christ. 

But in the glory of that light, aware 

Of the immediate presence of my God, 

I saw myself, as I had never seen, 

Polluted and undone ; and, clothed in shame, 

Awestruck, like Peter, cried aloud, " Depart 

From me, who am a sinful man, O Lord." 

But, as I raised my eye to read His will, 60 

I saw, as never hitherto, the cross 

Irradiated with celestial light, 

And love divine, unutterable, poured 

Around the form of Him who hung thereon. 

I gazed entranced, enraptured ; and anew 

I washed the dark stains of my travelling dress 

White in the fountain of His blood ; and then, 

Methought, He laid His hand upon my head, 

And whispered, " Go in peace, and sin no more." 

And the words seemed to linger in the air, 70 

Whether an angel caught them up or not 

I know not, but they seemed to float around me, 



4 THE SEER'S DEATH, [BOOK 

" Sin no more, weary pilgrim, sin no more, 
No more at all for ever, sin no more." 

And thus long hours of peace and prayer and praise 
Passed noiselessly, as gliding slumber ; though 
That night was more to me than years of life, 
If life be measured, its true gauge, by love. 
I feasted upon love ; I drank, I breathed 
Nothing but love. But when the morning came so 

I knew no more what passed around me : earth 
Sank from my view, and yet I was not free 
To climb the heavens. As when the aeronaut, 
Borne sunward on his too adventurous car, 
At length emerging from the seas of mist 
(Which circumfused long while about his path 
Clung darkling, but now roll in lucid waves 
Of clouds beneath him) hovers there a while, 
A stranger in that crystal atmosphere, 
Exiled from earth, and yet not winged for heaven : 90 
So in my fever dreams I seemed to hang 
On the far confines of the world of sense, 
Unconscious of the lapse of day or night, 
If lonely or in loved society ; 
But conscious of my spirit's fellowship 
With the Eternal Spirit. God was there : 
I knew it : I was with Him. And meanwhile 
His angel gently loosen'd all the cords 
Of my frail tabernacle, and the tent 
Fluttered to every breeze. 100 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. 5 

Six days I lay 
In that strange borderland, so she, who watch'd 
Unwearied as an angel day and night 
Beside my pillow, told me when I woke 
From the fruition of celestial love 
To drink in, like a thirsty traveller, 
The sweetness of her human love once more : — 
Never so sweet as now. They sin who deem 
There can be discord betwixt love and love. 
Six days had passed ; and now the morning sun 
Bore through the open casement all the glow no 

Of summer ; more than six days out of seven 
Since that strange midnight summons : — so I knew 
My hours were numbered, and that I should see 
No other sunrise on this weary world ; 
And gently said, intolerant of suspense, 
" My wife, my darling, I am going home ; 
God wills it,- darling, — going home to-night." 
Sorely I fear'd the first shock of my words 
Upon the tenderest of human hearts, 
A wife's, a mother's heart. But softly laying 120 

Her hand upon my burning brow, she said, 
u I know it all, beloved husband. God 
Hath spoken to me also, and hath given 
These brief hours to my wrestling prayers. Enough, 
To-morrow and all after life for tears, 
To-day and all eternity for love." 

And leaning then her ear close to my lips, 



6 THE SEER'S DEATH, [BOOK 

Her soft cheek touching mine, we spoke or thought 

(A broken word was clue to many thoughts) 

Of things long past, and holy memories, 1 30 

That glow'd in sunlight through the mist of years, 

Or cast their solemn shadow o'er the hills ; 

Those anniversaries, that sanctify 

So many Sabbaths in a pilgrim's life : 

The day that interlink'd her heart with mine, 

Our ramble through a laurel greenery, 

My soul full charged with its own feelings, nor 

Well able to restrain their passionate flow 

Into the waveless mirror of her love ; 

Not able long. The intervening years uo 

Of tried affection and of hope deferred ; 

And then the plucking of the tree of life 

With its ambrosial fruitage, and fresh flowers 

Upon our bridal day. We took and ate 

And lived — God's smile upon us. Then our home, 

All fragrant with parental thoughtfulness, 

Close nestling by the village church, my charge ; 

Say rather ours : our lambs, our flock, our fold, 

For I was shepherd, and she shepherdess, 

And we, as one, were married to one spouse. 3 5fl 

Indissoluble bond ! names, faces, hearts 

Came back upon us fresh as yesterday : 

The precious seed not seldom sown with tears, 

The golden grain that ripen'd here and there, 

A wave-sheaf of our husbandry. And link'd 

With all the memories of pastoral life 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. 7 

The birth-days of our children, those dear ties 

That bound us ever closer each to each, 

Us to our people, them and us to God. 

Nor births alone : for twice the gates of pearl 1 60 

Had opened on their musical hinges, while 

The angels ministrant had ta'en each time 

A little tender ewe-lamb from our arms, 

To nurture it, so Jesus willed, in heaven. 

And then we spoke of other blessed dead, 

Akin to us by blood, akin by grace, 

And friends, and fellow-travellers, whose names 

Sprang to our eager lips spontaneously : 

Their forms that hour were present as when last 

We wrung their hands upon the shore of time. 170 

And ever the horizon grew more clear 

And wider as we gazed. Our little life 

Was interwoven with the universe 

Of God's eternal counsels. We were part 

Of the whole family in heaven and earth ; 

The many were in heaven, the few on earth ; 

Part of the mighty host whose foremost ranks 

Long since had crossed the river, and had pitched 

Their tents upon the everlasting hills. 

How shrunken Jordan seemed. iso 

The day wore fast. 
My wife looked up. I saw her anxious eye 
Measuring the shadows more aslant, and read 
Her thought, and whispered, " Call them to us." Soon 



. 



8 THE SEER'S DEATH, [BOOK 

Our children clustered round my bed. Dear hearts, — 

The eldest only in the bloom of spring, 

The next in earliest prime of youth, the rest 

In order opening like forest flowers, 

A wreath of girls with brothers intertwined, 

Down to the rosebud in the nurse's arms. 

They were but learners in the infant school 190 

Of sorrow, and were scarcely able yet 

To spell its simplest signs. But when they caught 

The meaning of their mother's words,, and knew 

That I was going to leave them, one low sob 

Broke from them, like the sighing of the wind 

That frets the bosom of a silver lake 

Before a tempest. Each on the other look'd; 

And every lip trembled \ and tears, hot tears, 

Gusk'd forth, and quickly woidd have drench'd all eyes. 

But fearing their most innocent distress 200 

Would, like an irresistible tide, break down 

The barrier of their mother's holy calm, 

I raised my head upon the pillow, saying, 

" Weep not, my children, that your father's work 
Is over, and his travelling days are done. 
For I am going to our happy home, 
Jerusalem the golden, of which we 
On Sabbath evenings have so often sung, 
And wish'd the weary interval away 
That lay betwixt us and its pearly gates. -210 

You must not weep for me. Nor for yourselves. 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. 9 

Nor for your mother grieve too bitterly. 

The Father of the fatherless will be 

Your Father and your God. You know who says,, 

I will not leave you orphans. He will send 

The Blessed Comforter to comfort you, 

And soon will come and take you to Himself, 

That where He is there you may also be 

In glory. And the time I know is short. 

The Bridegroom cometh quickly. Let your loins 220 

Be girded, and your lamps be trimmed alway. 

Methinks your earthly sojourn will be closed, 

Not like your father's with the sleep of death, 

But by the archangel's clarion. Be it so : 

Or be it that ye walk the pilgrim's course 

To life's far bourn, the God of Israel 

Will shield you, and will give you bread to eat 

And raiment to put on, until you reach 

Your Father's house in peace. 

w Come here, my child, 
My firstborn, who hast ever been to me 230 

Thy mother's image, doubly blessed thus ; 
Subdue thy grief that thou may'st solace hers, 
And with a daughter's heavenly art reflect 
Her former brightness on a widow's heart : 
I leave it thee thy charge. And thou, my boy, 
Son, brother, father, pastor thou must be, 
And with a thoughtfulness beyond thy years 
Enfold thy mother in thy filial love, 



10 THE SEER'S DEATH, [BOOK 

As the leaves cluster round a shaken rose ; 

And shade thy sisters and thy brothers, as 240 

A granite wall the flowers. Thy hour is come 

To take the banner of the cross : it was 

Thy sainted grandsire's once, and fearlessly 

He bore it in the thickest fight, and then 

Entrusted it to my unequal hands. 

Now it is thine. I leave it thee to guard 

And part from only with thy parting breath. 

" Come near to me, my children. Let the hand 
That traced the cross upon your infant brow, 
Rest on your heads once more : come hither, nurse, 260 
Upon my babe, my tenderest blossom first, 
God bless him : and the others, dear, dear lambs, 
On each and all a father's blessing abide. 
And Thou, Great Shepherd of the flock, look down 
In mercy from Thy throne of heavenly grace 
On those whom Thou hast given me. From Thy hand 
I first received them, and to Thee again, 
Thee only, I resign them. Let not one 
Be wanting in the day Thou countest up 
The jewels in Thy diadem of saints. 260 

I ask not for the glories of the world, 
I ask not freedom from its weariness 
Of daily toil : but, O Lord Jesu Christ, 
Let Thy omnipotent prayer prevail for them, 
And keep them from the evil. In the hour 
Of trial, when the subtle tempter's voice 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. 11 

Sounds like a seraph's, and no human friend 

Is nigh, let my words live before Thee then, 

And hide my lambs beneath Thy shadowing wings, 

And keep them as the apple of Thine eye : 270 

My prayers are ended, if Thy will be done 

In them and by them : till at last we meet 

Within the mansions of our Father's house, 

A circle never to be sunder'd more, 

No broken link, a family in heaven/' 

And now the sun had sunk behind the hills ; 
The twilight deepened ; and the stars jpeep'd forth 
Betwixt the drapery of silver clouds. 
And the nurse understood the sign I gave, 
And led the younger children from my room ; 280 

And what with weeping and with weariness 
It was not long before they slept. The rest 
Silently praying lean'd against the foot 
Of my low couch. Never a word they spoke, 
But look'd their inexpressible love, till thoughts 
Of luminous stars, and large and loving eyes, 
Were strangely blended in a dream that came 
Enamell'd with rich pictures of my life, 
And floated like a golden mist away. 

The time-piece striking nine recalled me ; for 290 

I felt the involuntary thrill it sent 
Through my wife's heart, as kneeling by my side 



12 THE SEEIl's DEATH, [BOOK 

She clung : and almost unawares my lips 

Repeated words she loved in other days 

Though long forgotten — " All thine own on earth, 

Beloved, and in glory all thine own." 

They opened a deep fountain ; and her tears 

Fell quick as rain upon my hand, — hot tears 

On a cold hand, — so sluggishly my blood 

Crept now. And I said, u Let the children read 300 

Some of God's words." All others would have jarr'd 

That night, but His are tender in their strength, 

And in their very tenderness are strong. 

And straightway, like a chime of evening bells 

Melodiously o'er broken waters borne, 

They read in a low voice most musical 

Some fragments of the book of life. 

The first 
Chose words she loved from David's pastoral, — 
" The Lord my Shepherd is ; I shall not want : 
He leads me in green pastures, and beside 310 

Still waters ; and restores my soul to tread 
For His name's sake the paths of righteousness. 
Yea, though I walk the shadowy vale of death, 
I fear not ; Thou art with me ; and Thy crook 
It comforts me. My table is prepared 
In presence of my enemies : my head 
Thou, Lord, anointest ; and my cup o'erllows. 
Goodness and mercy shall attend my steps, 
And in Thy house I shall for ever dwell." 



I.] AXD DESCENT TO HADES. 13 

She ceased; and then another from the Psalm 320 
Of him, who call'd his son u a stranger here/' 
Read, "Thou, O Lord, hast been our dwelling-place 
Prom age to age, the everlasting Thou/' 
Until he lingered on the children's prayer, 
" O satisfy us early with Thy love 
That we may live rejoicing all our days/' 
t 

Methinks, they hardly caught my low amen, 
For almost without pause a gentle girl, 
With a voice tremulous for tears not shed, 
Repeated, for she knew them, the dear words 330 

Of Jesus on the night He was betray'd, 
u Let not your heart be troubled \ ye believe 
In God ..." nor ceased till she had pleaded all 
The eloquence of His High-priestly prayer. 

And then my son began, " Now is Christ risen, 
The first-fruits of the dead who sleep in Him." 
The words burnt brightly' as beacon fires at night, 
Till as he utter'd " This corruptible 
Must put on incorruption, and this mortal 
Its immortality /' and ask'd in tones 3 to 

Where faith with feeling wrestled and prevail'd, 
" Where is thy sting, O death ! and where, O grave, 
Thy victory ?" We heard, but heeded not, 
The warning that another hour had pass'd, 
For our responsive hearts were echoing " Thanks 
To God who ffiveth us the victory ! " 






14 THE SEER'S DEATH, [BOOK 

And now for the last time the manna fell 

Around my pilgrim tent. My eldest child 

Turned with true instinct to our home, and read 

The vision of the new Jerusalem, 350 

The Bridal city, built of crystal gold 

And bright with jewels, whether real types 

Or rather typical realities. 

And, as she read, we often paused and spoke, 

Though but as children speak of things unseen ; 

Until the closing words, " His servants there 

Shall serve Him ; they shall see His face ; His name 

Writ in their forehead. And they need no sun 

Or moon to shine upon them, for the Lord 

Doth lighten them with uncreated light, 360 

And they shall reign for ever and for ever/' 

Then there was silence : and my children knelt 
Around my bed — our latest family prayer. 
Listen — it is eleven striking. Then 
I whispered to my wife, " The time is short ; 
I hear the Spirit and the Bride say, Come, 
And Jesus answering, c I come quickly/ Listen / J 
And as she wiped the death-dews from my brow, 
She faltered, " He is very near," and I 
Could only faintly say, " Amen, amen." 370 

And then my power of utterance was gone : 
I beckoned and was speechless : I was more 
Than ankle deep in Jordan's icy stream. 
My children stood upon its utmost verge, 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. 15 

Gazing imploringly, persuasively, 

While the words " Dear, dear father/' now and then 

Would drop, like dew, from their unconscious lips. 

My gentle wife, with love stronger than death, 

Was leaning over those cold gliding waves. 

I heard them speaking, but could make no sign ; 380 

I saw them weeping, but could shed no tear ; 

I felt their touch upon my flickering pulse, 

Their breath upon my cheek, but I could give 

No answering pressure to the fond hands pressed 

In mine. So rapidly the river-bed 

Shelved downward, I had passed or almost passed 

Beyond the interchange of loving signs 

Into the very world of love itself. 

The waters were about my knees ; they washed 

My loins ; and still they deepened. Unawares 390 

I saw, I listened — who is He who speaks ? — 

A Presence and a Voice. That Presence moved 

Beside me like a cloud of glory ; and 

That Voice was like a silver trumpet, saying, 

" Be of good comfort. It is I. Fear not." 

And whether now the waters were less deep 

Or I was borne upon invisible arms, 

I know not ; but methought my mortal robes 

Now only brushed the smoothly gliding stream, 

And like the edges of a sunset cloud 400 

The beatific land before me lay. 

One long, last look behind me : gradually 

The figures faded on the shore of time, 



16 THE SEEIt's DEATH, [BOOK 

And, as the passing bell of midnight struck, 
One sob, one effort, and my spirit was free. 

They err who tell us, that the spirit unclothed, 
And from its mortal tabernacle loosed, 
Has neither lineament of countenance, 
Nor limit of ethereal mould, nor form 
Of spiritual substance. The Eternal Word, 410 

Before He hung upon the Virgin's breasts, 
Was wont to manifest Himself to men, 
In visible similitude defined : 
And, when on Calvary He gave up the ghost, 
In that emancipated Spirit went forth, 
And preached glad tidings to the souls below. 
The angels are but spirits, a flame of fire, 
And subtle as the viewless winds of heaven ; 
Yet are they each to the other visible, 
And beautiful with those original forms 420 

That crown'd the morn of their nativity. 
Each has his several beauty. It is true 
The changes that diversify their state, 
Wrought with the speed of washes at their will 
And pleasure who are pleased as pleases God, 
Are many as are the leaves and bloom and fruit 
That shed new lustre on the orange groves 
And vineyards of the south : but still remains 
Their angel ideality the same, 

As we confuse not orange-trees and vines. 430 

And so the spirit inbreathed in human flesh, 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. 17 

By death divested of its mortal robes. 

Retains its-individual character, 

Ay, and the very mould of its sojourn 

Within this earthly tabernacle. Face 

Answers to face, and limb to limb : nor lacks 

The saint immediate investiture 

"With saintly' apparel. Only then the mind 

Which struggles here beneath this fleshly veil, 

As the pure fire in a half polished gem — 440 

Ruby or amethyst or diamond — 

Imprisoned, when the veil is rent in twain, 

Beams as with solar radiance forth, and sheds 

Its glow o'er every motion, every look : 

That which is born of spirit is spirit, and seems 

All ear, all eye, all feeling, and all heart ; — 

A crystal shrine of life. 

And I was now 
A spirit, new born into a spiritual world. 
Half dreaming, half awake, I lay awhile 
In an Elysium of repose : as glides 450 

A vessel long beset with boisterous winds 
Into some tranquil port, and all is still, 
Except the liquid ripple round the keel : 
So in a trance I lay. But gradually, 
As wakes an infant from its rosy sleep 
To find its mother keeping by its side 
Enamoured vigil, dreaming I awoke, 
And slowly then bethought me whence I came 



18 THE SEEll's DEATH, [BOOK 

And what I was, and ask'd instinctively 

" Where am I ? " And a gentle voice, in tones 460 

More musically soft than those the wind 

Elicits from iEolian harp or lute, 

Made answer, u Brother, thou art by my side, 

By me thy guardian angel, who have watch'd 

Thy footsteps from the wicket gate of life, 

And now am here to tend thy pathway home." 

I turned to see who spake, and being turned 

I saw two overshadowing wings that veiled 

The unknown speaker. Slowly they disclosed 

A form of light which seemed to rest on them, 470 

So, to compare the things of earth and heaven, 

As rests the body of the bird, which men 

Call for delight the bird of Paradise, 

Upon its waving feathers poised in air, 

Feathers, or rather clouds of golden down, 

With streamers thrown luxuriantly out 

In all the wantonness of winged wealth. 

Not otherwise behind that angel waved 

His pinions tremulous with starry light, 

Then drooped close folded to his radiant side : 480 

But, folded or diffuse, with equal ease 

Buoyant he floated on the obedient air. 

The very sight was melody ; such grace 

Flowed in his lightest motion. Save his wings 

The form was human in the spring of youth : 

I guessed a warrior by the fiery sword 

Girt to his thigh ; and yet his flowing robes, 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. , 19 

White as if woven of the beams that fall 

On the untrodden snows, bespoke a priest ; 

And his mysterious crown, a king : but when 490 

Smiling he looked on me, so much of love — 

Pure, holy, unimaginable love — 

In that one glance his spirit poured into mine ; 

Nor warrior then, nor priest, nor king he seem'd, 

But only brother. 

And again he spoke, 
" Before yon hills have caught the Eastern glow 
Will they expect us at heaven's golden gates. 
The road is long ; but swifter than the beams 
Of morning is the angelical convoy 
Sent for thy escort home. Myself thy guide : 500 

And with me other two, who on their hands 
Shall bear thee as they bore blest Lazarus 
Into his father's bosom, ready stand, 
Waiting our summons. But, so pleases thee, 
Ere we set forth, rise, brother, and look round 
Upon the battle-field where thou hast fought 
The fight of faith/' 

Immediately I rose, 
My spiritual essence to my faintest will 
Subservient, as is flame to wind, and gazed, 
Myself invisible, around. O sight 510 

Surpassing utterance, when the mists, that veil'd 
That borderland of heaven and earth and hell, 
c 2 



SM) THE SEER'S DEATH, [BOOK 

Dispersed, or rather when my eyes became 

Used to the mysteries of tilings unseen ! 

My dwelling had been situate beside 

The myriads of a vast metropolis : 

But now astonished I beheld, and lo ! 

There were more spirits than men, more habitants 

Of the thin air than of the solid ground : 

The firmament was quick with life. As when 520 

The prophet's servant looked from Dothan forth 

On Syria's thronging multitudes, and saw, 

His eyes being opened at Elisha's prayer, 

Chariots of fire by fiery horses drawn, 

The squadrons of the sky around the seer 

Encamping. Thus in numbers numberless 

The hosts of darkness and of light appear 'd 

Thronging the air. They were not ranged for fight, 

But mingled host with host, angels with men. 

Nor was it easy to discern the lost 530 

From the elect. There were no horned fiends 

As some have fabled, no gaunt skeletons 

Of naked horror ; but the fallen wore, 

Even as the holy angels, robes of light ; 

Nor did their ruin otherwise appear 

Than in dark passions, envy, and pride, and hate, 

Which like a brand upon their brow obscured 

The lustre of angelic loveliness. 

It was not open battle, might with might 

Contesting ; but uninterrupted war 540 

Of heavenlv faithfulness and hellish craft. 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. 21 

By every saint a holy watcher stood ; 

By some a company of blessed spirits ; 

Each had their ministry assigned. And oft 

From some superior chief the watchword pass'd, 

Or warnings came of stratagems foreseen. 

Or tidings from the court of glory sped 

From lip to lip more quickly than the thoughts 

Which men decypher from electric signs. 

Far off their armour gleam/d. On the other hand 550 

The spirits of darkness freely intermixed 

With all ; innumerable legions arm'd ; 

And, baffled oft, to their respective lords 

The thrones and principalities of hell 

Repairing, better learned their cursed lore 

To win or storm the ramparts of the heart 

Except to treachery impregnable. 

Around some dwellings, thick as locust-swarms, 

I saw them cluster. Flushed with wine there passed 

A young man through the solitary streets — 56o 

Not solitary to angelic eyes — 

Home to his father's house : a dark spirit waved 

A fascinating spell before his face : 

And straightway to those tents of wickedness 

He bent his easy steps ; and, as he crossed 

The threshold through the crowd invisible, 

I heard their fiendish laugh of triumph. Soon 

Another, on the call of charity, 

With haste that dimly-lighted pavement trod ; 

And him the spirits malign assayed to draw 5 70 



22 the seer's death, [book 

With the same sorcery : but an angel stoop'd 

And interposed his buckler, and the youth 

Went on unscathed, though mindless of his peril. 

A lonely garret drew my eye ; for thence 

A flood of roseate brilliance streamed afar, 

Such brilliance as a spirit alone may see : 

There on a bed of straw a sufferer lay 

Feeble, but strong in faith ; and by her side 

Two of heaven's noblest principalities 

Kept watch : and to my look of marvel, why 580 

Such high pre-eminence was hers, my guide 

Made answer, " She is one whom Jesus loves/' 

But now another sight attracted me : 

'Twas but a children's orphanage ; but there, 

Say, is it Jacob's ladder once again 

Planted upon the earth ? Such forms of light 

Were passing to and fro continually, 

So frequent was the intercourse with heaven. 

It boots not further to declare what things 
I saw that hour : but wheresoe'er I look'd 590 
Methought there was an earnestness and awe 
Presaging coming crisis. As I gazed, 
Questions innumerable to my lips 
Rose as live waters to a fountain's brim. 
But I was mute with wonder ; and my guide, 
Responding to my quick unspoken thoughts, 
Said, " Brother, I will tell thee all ere long 
But now one more permitted glance of love 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. 23 

Upon thy earthly home, and we must then 

Assay our long, precipitate descent." 600 

I followed where he led. Is it my home, 
My widow'd, desolate, and orphaned home ? 
O hush ! o'er every child an angel bent, 
Nor was the nurse the only one who watched 
The cradle of my sleeping babe. My wife 
Had stolen to our silent chamber back, 
And knelt in tears beside my lifeless clay : 
And o'er her stood a seraph, watching her 
With wondrous tenderness and love and grief. 
" And is it true/' I ask'd — my words were quick 6lo 
And irrepressible for eager thought, — 
" Hath it been ever granted those who have pass'd 
The river, to appear and show themselves, 
Unchanged in form, in heart unchangeable, 
To loved ones they have left behind ?" u 'Tis true 
It hath been so/' gently my guardian said, 
" But only by His sovereign will and word 
Who holds the keys of Hades and of Death, 
And opens, as He wills, the mortal eye 
To see the mysteries of things unseen. 620 

There are who fondly call upon the dead 
To hear them, and imagine they receive 
Some dark response in symbols or in sounds : 
But either in their minds their own prayers raise 
Distemper'd phantasies, or spirits unblest, 



24 the seer's death, [book 

Perceiving that the bond of fealty 

Is broken with the One and Only God, 

Assume the very lineaments and voice 

Of those invoked, and answering them allure 

Their worshippers to ruin. Yet sometimes 630 

The veil is lifted by His high behest 

"Who separates eternity from time, 

And spirits have spoken unto men, and then 

Their eye is open, and their ear attent. 

Blest seers, blest auditors : but higher still 

And holier is the pure beatitude 

On those who have not seen and yet believe ; 

And such is hers who kneels before thee : hers, 

As thine was, is the victory of faith. 

Leave her to God. Our journey summons us." 640 

" Enough, enough," I answered, " all is well ; 

I would not pluck one jewel from her crown : 

Arise, let us be going." And at my words 

The spirit who watched beside her looked on me 

A look of tender gratitude, and waved 

His hand in token of a short farewell. 

And I was now aware of two who stood 
Beside me, courier angels, winged for speed : 
Twin brothers they appeared, so like their mien, 
So like their garments dipt in rainbow hues ; 650 

They bent on me the beauty of their smile, 
And singing, as they took my hand in theirs, 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. 25 

" Home, brother, home/' unclosed their wings of light : 
And we, my guardian leading us the way, 
Set forth upon the road to Paradise. 

Smooth, easy, swifter than the winds of heaven 
Our flight was. In the twinkling of an eye 
We brush'd the mantle of a silver cloud 
That floated in mid sky. Like flames of fire 
We mounted upward, for awhile within 660 

The limits of the mighty shadow cast 
From the earth's solid globe athwart the heavens. 
But soon, emerging from its gloom, we saw 
The sun unclouded, but its disc reduced 
To half its former radiance, — faint its warmth, 
Feeble its light, and lessening every league. 
But when I saw that we had left the earth 
Beneath us, and were ever soaring higher, 
I turned me to my radiant guide and said, 
" O blessed angel, wherefore calledst thou 670 

The road to Paradise a long descent 
Precipitate ? Upward our pathway leads, 
Ascending, not descending : and the earth 
Already lies a planet at our feet/' 

And he, benignly smiling, answered me, 
" Call me, I pray thee, Oriel, such my name — 
One little beam from God's great orb of light. 
Ascension and descension, height and depth, 
Are here not measured by a line through space 



2ti THE SEER'S DEATH, [BOOK 

Drawn vertical or perpendicular 680 

From any spot on the revolving earth, 

Of which let it suffice thee to reflect 

Thy highest hitherto hath ever been 

The lowest to the other hemisphere. 

Not so our zenith and our nadir lie : 

But height with us is where the Eternal God, 

Though omnipresent in the universe, 

Reveals the lustre of His throne supreme, 

Through clouds of glory in the heaven of heavens : 

And depth is the remotest opposite. 690 

We are descending now : for Hades lies 

More distant from the everlasting throne 

Than central earth. Fear not ; for He who sits 

High throned above all height pre-eminent, 

Not only stooped from thence to Bethlehem, 

But dying, descended lower than the earth, 

And captive led captivity, His prey, 

In those vast realms beneath. Descending first, 

Soon He ascended far above the heavens, 

And with His presence fills the universe. Too 

His pathway, brother, must be thine. Nor think 

That Paradise, though situate in the deep 

Which lieth under, is not real heaven : 

Heaven is where Jesus is, and He is there. 

Even as in those mysterious temple courts 

Built on mount Zion, figures of the true, 

There was the outer court, the hoi}- place, 

The Holiest of Holies, and yet all 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. 27 

Were but one house, One Father's house of prayer ; 

So is it in the heaven of heavens. And now 710 

The veil is rent for ever, and He walks 

Who bears thy name engraven on His heart 

Before the throne of mercy, and amid 

The golden candlesticks, and where the souls 

Beneath the altar ciy l How long, O Lord T 

Fear not ; there thou shalt see Him as He is, 

There clasp His sacred feet, and rest beneath 

The beaming sunlight of His countenance, 

And follow where He leads through fairer fields 

Than Eden, by the gushing springs of life 720 

Fresh watered. He makes heaven : and every part 

Of His great temple with His glory shines/' 

So spake he ; and I hung upon his lips 
Entranced, whose words w^ere sweeter to my taste 
Than droppings of the honey dew. But now 
I was aware the pathway that we clomb 
No longer was a solitary track, 
Rather a mighty highway of the heavens : 
For other travellers, angels they seem'd, 
Were passing to and fro unweariedly, 730 

On manifold behests commissioned. Some 
Swept by us, swift as lightning, on their road 
From Paradise to earth : and other some 
Journeying the way we went, in groups of light, 
Bore in their hands, like my angelic guard, 
A weary pilgrim to his home of rest. 



28 the seer's death, [book 

Others, and they were many, had each in charge 

A sleeping infant folded to his bosom, 

And ever and anon would stoop and gaze 

Upon it with unutterable love. 740 

Of some the flight was slow : but when I looked, 

The spirit they carried was in chains, and all 

His stricken lineaments bespoke despair. 

And still the path became more thronged, and shone 

With living meteors, so as to compare 

The things of sight and faith, at midnight when 

A rose-blush as of morning seems to steal 

Across the northern firmament, with jets 

Of ardent flame and undulating light 

Incessant. On our right hand and our left 750 

The stars sang Hallelujah, as we passed 

Now in the splendour of some nearer orb, 

Whether a satellite or blazing sun, 

And now within the twilight interval 

That lay betwixt their vast domains. But I, 

Solicitous regarding those whose look 

Of woe once seen was ineffaceable, 

AskMj " Holy Oriel, are those prisoners, 

Whose slower course we pass continually, 

Angelic, or lost spirits of human birth ? 760 

And wherefore are they on this road with us V* 

And he replied, his words were grave but calm, 
" They are the disembodied souls of men 
Who lived and died in sin. Lightly they spent 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. 29 

In Godless mirth or prayerless toil unblest 

Their brief inestimable day of proof, 

Till the last golden sands ran out : and now 

Their hour is come, and they are on the road 

To that profound abysmal deep, wherein 

The rich man lifted up his anguished eyes — 770 

Eyes never to be closed in sleep again : 

Nor marvel that one track their footsteps leads 

And ours. Remember he of whom I spake, 

Himself in torments, though far off, beheld 

The holy Lazarus, and call'd aloud — 

A bootless prayer — on Abraham for aid. 

And when that desperate monarch, Saul of old, 

Impenitent, besought of Endows witch 

The knowledge that insulted Heaven refused, 

The prophet's spirit, which rose at God's behest, 780 

Baffling the arts of sorcery, replied, 

' To-morrow thou and thine shall be with me/ 

All die, for all have sinn'd. Their mother earth 

Has but one sepulchre for all. And here 

One Hades, by us called the under-world, 

Receives the spirits of the damn'd and blest : 

One world, but widely sunder'd by a gulf 

Inevitably fixed, impassable, 

Which severs to the left hand and the right 

The prison-house of woe and Paradise. 790 

Before us now it lies/' 

I look'd, and lo 



30 the seer's death, [book 

Before us lay a sphere girdled with clouds, 

And glorious with illimitable lights 

And shadows mingling. Momently it grew 

Dilated, as with undiminished speed 

We outstripped lightnings m our homeward path, 

Until in vain I toiPd to mark the line 

Of its horizon. Boundless it appeared 

As space itself, a nether sea of mist 

Unfathomable, shoreless, infinite. 800 

Thither our pathway led. But as we near'd 

Its extreme confines, I beheld what seemed 

A defile in those mountainous clouds, a chasm 

Whence issued floods of radiance, pure white light, 

And rainbow tints, roseate, and gold, and blue, 

Unparalleled on earth : though He who sees 

The virgin snows upon the Alps suffused 

With blushes underneath the first salute 

Of morning, sees a shadow of this light. 

This was the gorgeous avenue which led 81 o 

Straight to the gates of bliss — a pass to which 

The grandest and the most sublime on earth, 

From Caubul to the sunny plains of Ind, 

Were but a miner's arch. The massive sides, 

Massive they seemed, of this ravine were built 

Of clouds which ever hung there undispersed, 

And caught on every vaporous fold and skirt 

The glory of the sportive rays that streamed 

Forth from the happy Paradise beyond 

Innumerable. But before we passed 820 



I.] AND DESCENT TO HADES. 31 

Under that radiant canopy, I saw 

Another road far stretching on our left 

Into the outer darkness, vast and void, 

And from its depths methought I faintly heard 

The sighings of despair. Time was not now 

For mute surprise or question. On we flew, 

As shoots a vessel laden with the wealth 

Of Ceylon's isle, or Araby the blest, 

Right onward, every sailyard bent with wind, 

Into her long'd-for port. And now the air 830 

Grew tremulous with heavenly melody. 

Far off at first it seemed and indistinct, 

As swells and sinks the multitudinous roar 

Of ocean : but ere long the waves of sound 

RolPd on articulate, and then I knew 

The voice of harpers harping on their harps. 

And lo, upon the extreme verge of cloud, 

As once at Eden's portals there appeared 

A company of angels clothed in light, 

Thronging the path or in the amber air 840 

Suspense. And in the twinkling of an eye 

We were among them, and they clustered round 

And waved their wings, and struck their harps again 

For gladness : every look was tenderness, 

And every w r ord was musical with joy. 

" Welcome to heaven, dear brother, welcome home ! 
Welcome to thy inheritance of light ! 
Welcome for ever to thy Master's joy ! 



32 the seer's death. [book I. 

Thy work is done, thy pilgrimage is past ; 

Thy guardian angel's vigil is fulfilled ; 850 

Thy parents wait thee in the bowers of bliss ; 

Thy infant babes have woven wreaths for thee ; 

Thy brethren who have entered into rest 

Long for thy coming ; and the angel choirs 

Are ready with their symphonies of praise. 

Nor shall thy voice be mute : a golden harp 

For thee is hanging on the trees of life ; 

And sweetly shall its chords for ever ring, 

Responsive to thy touch of ecstasy, 

With Hallelujahs to thy Lord and ours." 860 

So sang they ; and that vast defile of clouds 
Re-echoed with the impulses of song 
And music, and the atmosphere serene 
Throbbed with innumerable greetings. Sounds, 
Such as no mortal ear hath ever heard, 
Save those who watcVd their flocks at Bethlehem, 
Ravished my soul, and sights surpassing words, 
Till, ear and eye fulfilled with pure delight, 
I turned me to my angel guide, and said 
Unconsciously, u 'Twere good to sojourn here!" 870 

But he, in tones of buoyant hope, replied, 
" Brother, thou shalt see greater things than these." 



EXD OF THE FIRST BOOK. 



33 



BOOK II. 

THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 

On, through that mountainous defile of clouds, 

My guardian and his winged ministers 

Bore me with smooth undeviating flight, 

And speed unslacken'd : round about us play'd 

Our retinue of angels, carolling 

And harping as they flew : the while an hour 

Passed peradventure of terrestrial time, 

Measuring in space leagues almost measureless, 

Though travellers along that blissful road 

Wished it were longer. But at last aware 10 

Of brighter radiance circumfused, I looked 

Far in the gleaming distance, and behold, 

Barring our onward course, were gates of pearl, 

Translucent pearl, through which the glory' of heaven 

Came softened in a thousand tender hues — 

Distinguishable Iris, chrysolite, 

Sapphire, and emerald, and sardius, 

And peerless hyacinthine amethyst. 

The deep foundations of those gates were sunk 



34 THE PARADISE OP THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

Lower than thought may fathom, and their top 20 

Appeared to touch the empyrean's arch ; 

But at the echo of the harpers' song 

Back with melodious sound they softly flew, 

As if themselves instinct with sympathies 

Of welcome, and disclosed the scenes of bliss 

That lay beyond them bathed in amber light. 

Here first upon the threshold of those gates 
My heavenly escort paused. Here first I trod 
A pavement of transparent gold, and gazed 
Upon that luminous ravine, which brought 30 

Us hither, in admiring marvel. Such 
A cincture, to compare great things with small, 
Of w r aters and of vaporous clouds composed 
Some hold the golden ring wdiich circulates 
Round Saturn's orb : or such, as others tell, 
The lucid atmosphere enveloping 
The central sun, whose solid globe opaque 
Is only visible through rents which show 
As spots to the inhabitants of earth. 
But what might be the mantle, which enwrapt 40 

The unseen world of spirits, I ask'd not. Clouds 
Were none before us. Through the gates of pearl 
We pass'd, and on a terraced platform stood, 
Which overlooked the realms of Paradise, 
And gazed awhile, like Moses from the rocks 
Of Pisgah on the promised land. O, scene 
Surpassing words ! Beneath us lay outstretched 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 35 

A garden far more large than if the earth. 
From pole to pole, from sunrise to sunset, 
Bloomed with the countless roses of Cashmere ; 50 

And yet not larger to the dark abyss 
That couched beneath it and beyond, than was 
Blest Eden to the whole primeval world. 
And this, like Adam's sinless nursery, 
Was planted by the hand of God Himself, 
And watered with the rivulets of life, 
And shaded with innumerable trees, 
Fragrant and flowering and hung with fruit — 
Trees beautiful to view and good for food. 
All here was good. Nor were there wanting hills Go 
With vallies interspersed, and placid lakes, 
And plains, and forests, as of cedars, fit 
For holy intercourse of friend with friend, 
And opening glades between. The distant seemed 
Near as we looked upon it : whether this 
Were due to that crystalline atmosphere 
Purged from all film, or rather that the eyes 
Of spirits and angels in themselves excel 
The virtues of those lenses wherewith men 
Have arm'd their ineffective vision, as 70 

A microscope and telescope in one. 
For a brief space we gazed enamoured. Then 
Cleaving with ease the light elastic air, 
By love's strong magnet drawn, we sloped our flight, 
As slopes a meteor with its train of gold 
Across the summer firmament, nor stayed 

d 2 



36 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

Till in a wooded vale beside a stream 
We lighted — we and our angelic choir. 

We lighted \ and my guardian with a smile 
Of gladness, which no thought of self obscured, 80 

Turned to me, saying, a Brother, this is home : 
This is thy Saviour's rest, and this is thine, 
Until the archangels trumpet sound in heaven, 
Here thou with Jesus art, Jesus with thee ; 
Go forth and meet thy Lord. Beneath this shade 
Mean time we tarry for thee, while alone 
Thou seest Him whom thou hast loved unseen : 
That is an incommunicable joy 
With which no other hearts, angels or men, 
Can intermeddle. By yon grassy bank 90 

Follow where leads thee on thy way this stream 
Of flowing crystal ; such is His command : 
And here will we await thy blest return/' 

So they retired a little space aside, 
Under the grateful shadow of those trees 
Rich with ambrosial fruit : and ere my lips 
Could utter thanks I found myself alone — 
Alone, and on my way to meet my God. 
The solitude was sweet. So many scenes 
Of glory and unprecedented joy 100 

Had crowded on my vision, that I longed 
To gather and compose my thoughts awhile 
In meditation. Such an interval 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. .'37 

Of brief but blissful solitude the bride. 

Left lonely on her bridal evening, feels 

To still the beating of a heart that beats 

Too high with virgin bashfulness and hope, 

Ere she receives her spouse. And, as I trod 

Those banks enamelled with the freshest flowers, 

Soothed with the gliding music which that stream 1 10 

Made ever, brokenly at intervals, 

Communing with myself, I thought aloud. 

" And am I then in heaven ? Is this the land 
To which my yearning heart so often turned 
Desirous ? This the Paradise of saints ? 
And is it I myself who speak ? The same 
Who wandered in the desert far astray, 
Till the Good Shepherd found me perishing, 
And drew me to Himself with cords of love ? 
Has He now brought me to His heavenly fold, 1 20 

Which sin can never touch nor sorrow cloud, 
Me who have watered with my frequent tears 
The thorny wilderness, and struggled on 
Footsore and weary — me, the wayward one ? 
And shall I never wander from Him more, 
And never grieve His brooding Spirit again ? 
O, joy ineffable ! But am I now 
About to meet Him, see Him face to face 
Who made me, and who knows me what I am, 
Of all His saints unworthiest of His love? 130 

Why beats this heart so tremulously ? Why 



38 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

Do thoughts within me rise ? Is it not He 

Who bought me with His blood ? Hath He not led 

Me on my journey hither step by step ? 

Came He not to me at the hour of death, 

And whispered that my sins were all forgiven, 

And now hath sent His angels to convoy 

My spirit safely home, and welcome me 

With songs of Hallelujah ? What is love, 

If this indissoluble bond that links 140 

Me and my Lord for ever be not love ? 

His costly, precious, infinite, divine : 

Mine human, limited, and mean, and poor, 

And yet His inward Spirit whispers true. 

For what were all this gorgeous Paradise, 

The music of these waters, and these bowers 

Fragrant with fruitage, what were all to me, 

And tenfold all, twice measured, without Him ? 

Without Him heaven were but a desert rude ; 

With Him, a desert heaven. And art Thou here 1 50 

Jesu, my Lord, my life, my light, my all ? 

When wilt Thou come to me, or bid me come 

To Thee, that I may see Thee as Thou art, 

And love Thee even as Thou lovest me?" 

And as I spake I heard a gentle Voice 
Calling me by my name. So Adam heard 
And conscience-stricken Eve the voice of God 
Walking abroad through Eden in the cool 
Of sunset. But with other thoughts to theirs 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. &9 

I turned to see who called me ; and lo, One ] Go 

Wearing a form of human tenderness 

Approached. Human He was, but love divine 

Breathed in His blessed countenance, a love 

Which drew me onwards irresistibly 

Persuasive : whether now He veiPd His beams 

More closely than the hour His brightness shone 

Around the prophet by Ulai's banks, 

And in the solitary Patmos smote 

Prostrate to earth the Apocalyptic seer ; 

Or whether the Omnipotent Spirit of God J7o 

Strengthens enfranchised spirits to sustain 

More of His glory. I drew near to Him, 

And He to me. O beatific sight ! 

vision with which nothing can compare ! 
The angel ministrant who brought me hither 
Was exquisite in beauty, and my heart 
Clave to his heart : the choristers of light, 
Who sang around our pathway, none who saw 
Could choose but love for very loveliness. 

But this was diverse from all other sights : 180 

Not living only, it infused new life ; 

Not beautiful alone, it beautified ; 

Nor only glorious, for it glorified. 

For a brief space methought I looked on Him, 

And He on me. O blessed look ! how brief 

1 know not, but eternity itself 

Will never from my soul erase the lines 
Of that serene transfiguring aspect. 



40 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

For a brief space I stood, by Him upheld, 

Gazing, and then in adoration fell 1 90 

And clasped His sacred feet, while holy tears, 

Such tears as disembodied spirits may weep, 

Flowed from my eyes. But bending over me, 

As bends a mother o'er her waking babe, 

He raised me tenderly, saying, " My child." 

And I, like Thomas on that sacred eve, 

Could only answer Him, " My Lord, my God." 

And then He drew me closer, and Himself 

With His own hand, His pierced hand of love, 

Wiped the still Killing tear-drops from my face, 200 

And told me I was His and He was mine, 

And how my Father loved me and He loved. 

That hour for brevity a moment seemed ; 
For benediction, ages. But at last 
Calmly He said, " The night is almost spent ; 
The morning is at hand. Fearless meanwhile 
Rest thou in peace. Oriel, thy guardian spirit, 
Shall lead thee to those bowers felicitous, 
Where now thy parents and thy babes await 
My kingdom, with the other Blessed Dead." 210 

So saying, by the hand He led me forth, 
(Lowly in heart as when He stoop'd and led 
The blind man of Bethsaida aside), 
And brought me to the spot where Oriel stayed 
Expectant with those courier seraphim 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 41 

And all that choir of angels. Reverent 
They rose, and knelt in worship at His feet ; 
And there was silence till again His voice 
Breathed new delight ineffable in all. 

" Soldier and servant of the Lord, well done ! 220 

My faithful Oriel, well hast thou discharged 
Thy long and arduous ministry of love 
'Twixt earth and heaven, now for six thousand years : 
And not least faithful proved in guarding this 
Thy youngest brother from the hosts of hell 
Confederate to destroy My child in vain. 
And ye, My winged ministers of light, 
Well have ye brought him hither. And, ye choirs 
Celestial, I have heard well-pleased your songs 
And notes of welcome. For a little while 230 

Abide ye in these happy fields, for soon 
A mightier triumph shall awake your harps. 
And, Oriel, be it thine to take thy ward 
Where wait his coming those he loved on earth : 
And, when fulfilled with their society 
And all the present bliss of Paradise, 
Lead him apart, and patiently disclose 
That which thou knowest of eternity's 
To-day and yesterday. The morrow dawns. 
Make him partaker of thy thoughts, whom thou 240 

Hast brought to share thy glory. And meanwhile 
Receive from me this token of thy trust." 



42 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

He said, and from His bosom plucked what seemed 
A gem of fire, a globe of liquid light, 
As Venus in her prime shines on the earth, 
And placed it in my guardian's starry crown : 
An amaranthine diadem, enwove 
With many jewels, now at last complete. 
New love beat in all hearts, new joy, new praise : 
And in a moment we were there alone ; 250 

Yet not alone, I felt that He was there, 
Invisible, but personally there ; 
Spirit with spirit : I with Him, and He 
With me. Such virtue Omnipresence hath, 
Which only hides its glory in itself, 
That it may manifest itself anew 
In forms of unknown beauty, light with cloud, 
Voices with silence, movement with repose 
Combining in eternal interchange. 

And through an open glade we took our way, 260 

And many an avenue of forest trees,- — 
Such forests Paradise alone may rear, — 
And on through many a deep ravine, which slept 
Beneath the guardianship of shadowing hills, 
Gliding as easily as glides a train 
Of golden mist amid Norwegian pines ; 
Or as a parting smile of evening, shed 
By the proud king of day, ere he retires 
Within the crimson curtains of the West, 
Breaks over the cloud-mantled Pyrenees, 270 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 43 

Till their peaks glow like opal, and the lakes 
Catching the transitory radiance gleam 
Like liquid pearl : so smoothly without sound 
Of footfall on the printless flowers we passed. 

The track was long, soliciting our stay ; 
The time was briefer than my words. And lo, 
A valley opened on our sudden gaze 
Pre-eminently beautiful and bright 
'Mid that bright world of beauty. But straightway 
Or ever I could utter words of praise, 280 

Voices familiar as my mother tongue 
Fell on me ; and an infant cherub sprang, 
As springs a sunbeam to the heart of flowers, 
Into my arms, and murmured audibly, 
" Father, dear father ;" and another clasped 
My knees, and faltered the same name of power. 
One look sufficed to tell me they were mine, 
My babes, my blossoms, my long parted ones ; 
The same in feature and in form as when 
I bent above their dying pillow last, 290 

Only the spirit now disenrobed of flesh, 
And beaming with the likeness of their Lord. 

The one who nestled in my breast had seen 
All of earth's year except the winter's snows. 
Spring, summer, autumn, like sweet dreams, had smiled 
On her. Eva — or living — was her name ; 
A bud of life folded in leaves and love ; 



44 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

The dewy morning star of summer days ; 

The golden lamp of happy fire-side hours ; 

The little ewe-lamb nestling by our side ; 300 

The dove whose cooing echoed in our hearts ; 

The sweetest chord upon our harp of praise ; 

The quiet spring, the rivulet of joy; 

The pearl among His gifts who gave us all ; 

On whom not we alone, but all who looked, 

Gazing would breathe the involuntary words, 

" God bless thee, Eva — God be blessed for thee." 

Alas, clouds gathered quickly, and the storm 

Fell without w T arning on our tender bud, 

Scattering its leaflets; and the star was drenched 310 

In tears ; the lamp burnt dimly ; unawares 

The little lamb was faint ; the weary dove 

Cowered its young head beneath its drooping wing ; 

The chord was loosened on our harp ; the fount 

Was troubled, and the rill ran nearly dry ; 

And in our souls we heard our Father, saying, 

" Will ye return the gift V* The Voice was low — 

The answer lower still — " Thy will be done." 

And now, where we had often pictured her, 

I saw her one of the beatified ; 320 

Eva, our blossom, ours for ever now, 

Unfolding in the atmosphere of love : 

The star that set upon our earthly home 

Had risen in glory, and in purer skies 

Was shining ; and the lamp we sorely missM, 

Shed its soft radiance in a better home ; 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 45 

Our lamb was pasturing in heavenly meads ; 

Our dove had settled on the trees of life ; 

Another chord was ringing with delight, 

Another spring of rapture was unseal'd, 330 

In Paradise ; our treasure was with God ; 

The gift in the great Giver's strong right hand ; 

And none who looked on her could choose but say, 

" Eva, sweet angel, God be blessed for thee." 

But, were it possible, more beauteous seemed 
The cherub child who clung about my knees — 
A different beauty, hers. Sweet Constance, she 
Had trodden a longer, rougher pathway home, 
And not unset with thorns, — long for a bab.e, 
Two winters and three summers was her life — 340 

Rough only for a babe ; but every step 
Ta'en by her little bleeding feet had left 
Its tracery upon her spirit now 
In tender lines of love, and peace, and praise. 
Yet both were only infants ; babes of light 
In God's great household : heaven with all its joys 
Had perfected, not changed, their infancy : 
The younger, with the fearless gaze of one 
Who never knew the shadow of a cloud, 
Sparkling as sparkles a pure diamond : 350 

The elder, with a child's deep confidence, 
Which trusts you with illimitable trust, 
And with one look summons and wins your heart. 



46 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

A babe in glory is a babe for ever. 
Perfect as spirits, and able to pour forth 
Their glad heart in the tongues which angels use, 
These nurselings gathered in God's nursery 
For ever grow in loveliness and love, 
(Growth is the law of all intelligence) 
Yet cannot pass the limit which defines 36o 

Their being. They have never fought the fight, 
Nor borne the heat and burden of the day, 
Nor staggered underneath the weary cross ; 
Conceived in sin, they sinned not; though they died, 
They never shuddered with the fear of death : 
These things they know not and can never know. 
Yet fallen children of a fallen race, 
And early to transgression, like the rest, 
Sure victims, they were bought with Jesus' blood, 
And cleansed by Jesus' Spirit, and redeemed 370 

By His Omnipotent arm from death and hell : 
A link betwixt mankind and angelhood : 
As bom of woman, sharers with all saints 
In that great ransom paid upon the cross : 
In purity and inexperience 
Of guilt akin to angels. Infancy 
Is one thing, manhood one. And babes, though part 
Of the true archetypal house of God 
Built on the heavenly Zion, are not now, 
Nor will be ever, massive rocks rough-hewn, 380 

Or ponderous corner-stones, or fluted shafts 
Of columns, or far-shadowing^ pinnacles ; 



I.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 47 

But rather as the delicate lily-work 

By Hiram wrought for Solomon of old, 

Enwreathed upon the brazen chapiters, 

Or flowers of lilies round the molten sea. 

Innumerable flowers thus bloom and blush 

In heaven. Nor reckon God's designs in them 

Frustrate, or shorn of full accomplishment : 

The lily is as perfect as the oak ; 390 

The myrtle is as fragrant as the palm ; 

And Sharon's roses are as beautiful 

As Lebanon's majestic cedar crown. 

And when I saw my little lambs unchanged, 
And heard them fondly call me by my name, 
" Then is the bond of parent and of child 
Indissoluble/' I exclaim'd, and drew 
Them closer to my heart and wept for joy. 

But other voices of familiar love, 
And other forms of light reminded me 400 

By the deep yearnings of my soul, I was 
Myself not only' a father but a child ; 
Nor child alone, but brother, pastor, friend. 
How often had I long'd in dreams o' the night, 
Or meditative solitude, to see 
The beaming sunshine of my father's smile, 
Which ever seem'd to me a reflex joy 
Cast from God's smile ; or haply oftener yet 
My mother's face of fond solicitude, — 



48 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

Solicitous for all except herself. 4io 

They were before me now. Nor they alone : 

Betwixt them leant a slender seraph form, 

My sister's spirit, who with frailest bark 

Year after year had stemmed the wildest sea, 

Pain, conflict, cloud, and utter weariness, 

Till the last billow, almost unawares, 

On its rough bosom bore her into rest. 

And can this be that wave-tost voyager, 

This she ? Radiant with beauty and with bloom, 

As if the past had written on her brow 420 

Its transcript in those shades of pensive grace 

And breathing sympathy, wherein remained 

Nothing of sadness, all of saintliness. 

She stood and looked on me a moment, saying, 

t€ My brother, it is he V 3 and on my neck 

She fell ; nor arms alone were interlocked 

In that embrace. And then the pent up thoughts 

Of many years flowed from our eager lips, 

As waters from a secret spring unseaPd. 

I was no stranger in a strange land there : 430 

But rather as one who travel-worn and weary, 
Weary of wandering through many climes, 
At length returning homeward, eyes far off 
The white cliffs of his fatherland, and ere 
The labouring ship touches its sacred soil 
Leaps on the pier, while round him crowding press 
Children and kith and friends, who in a breath 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 49 

Ask of his welfare, and with joyous tongues 

Pour all their love into his thirsty ear. 

Such welcome home was mine ; such questionings 440 

Of things that had befallen me since last 

We met, and of my pathway thitherwards, 

And of the dear ones I had left behind : — 

Words with embraces interspersed. And then, 

Taking my hands exultingly in theirs, 

And singing for delight, they led me on 

Adown that heavenly valley : and the joy 

Of Oriel, who resigned me to their charge 

Awhile, and with his radiant retinue 

Hung on our footsteps, was fulfilled in mine. 450 

Straight towards a river bank they bent their steps, 

Shaded by trees of life, whose pendent boughs, 

Fanned by soft gales, and laden with fresh fruit, 

Dipped in the living waters. Every step 

Some fondly loved familiar face was seen, 

Whom I had known in pilgrim days, unchanged, 

And yet all bright with one similitude : 

One Lord had looked on them. 

So passed we on, 
And lo, a group of the beatified 

Advanced to meet us, on whose lips methought, 460 

Hush'd to a whisper for delight, I heard 
The strange salute of father. In amaze 
I ask'd, what meant such gratulation there ? 
And one for many answered, (< From thy mouth 

E 



50 THE PA11ADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

We heard of Jesus' love, and thine the hand 

That led us to His feet." It was enough : 

For all the parent and the pastor woke 

Within me ; all the holy memories 

Of bygone days flowed in a refluent tide 

Over my soul once more. Some I had known 470 

From rosy dawn of childhood, and had watched 

Their hearts like buds beneath a cottage wall 

Unfolding to the sunshine of God's love. 

Some I had shepherded, yea many, who 

With all the throbbing impulses of youth, 

Gave me the inviolable confidence 

Of their young life. And some in after years 

Had pour'd the burden of a wounded spirit, 

Suffering and sunken, into mine ; and we 

Had wept together, and together sought 4-0 

The sinner's only Friend, nor sought in vain. 

And others, dying, heard me read of him 

Who on the cross for mercy cried to Christ ; 

Heard, and themselves believed. All these I knew ; 

And quickly' as light their story flash'd on me. 

But in that group of filial spirits there came 

Many I knew not — part of that great store 

Of unsuspected treasure heaven conceals : 

And they too pour'd on me beatitudes. 

Nor, what I chiefly noted, seem'd my heart 490 

Surcharged, or freighted overmuch, with love. 

Affections with affections jarr'd not. All 

Was music. As through some cathedral aisles 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 5 1 

An organ of a thousand pipes pours forth 

Its rich and multitudinous harmonies. 

While the rapt organist touches at will 

Its various stops, hautboy, and trump, and flute, 

The clarion with the dulciana smooths, 

And chastens with the plaintive tremulant 

The diapason's thunder-roll : so love 500 

Without confusion blended there with love, 

Symphoniously distinct : and I embraced 

Each one with all my heart, and all as each. 

But now arrived upon that river bank 
Whose lucid waves were shaded by the trees 
Of life, along its marge in loose array 
We wandered, saints and angels, hand in hand, 
The children dancing in their innocent glee, 
And showering roses round our steps. But soon, 
Hard by a wooded precipice, whence fell 5io 

The living waters with melodious fall 
In numberless cascades from rock to rock 
Exultant, like a rain of diamonds, 
Through gates of woven myrtle' and vine we passM , 
And entered what they calPd their bower of bliss, 
One of the countless bowers of Paradise. 
Or rather it might seem a sylvan shrine 
For worship • so precipitous the trees, 
Trees loftier than those giant pines which cast 
Their shade athwart Peruvian forests, shot 520 

Right upward towards the crystal firmament, 

e 2 



52 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

And wove aloft branches and leaves and fruit 

In arches intricate, a fretted roof, 

Through which the light cooPd and empurpled came, 

Leaving beneath wide clearance, carpeted 

With moss of amaranth and delicate ferns. 

On these the spirits elect straightway reclined, 

And I with them : while Oriel over me 

Leant gazing with such pure, perfect delight 

As guardian angels only know. And then 530 

My children placed within my hands the wreaths 

Which they had woven of unfading flowers 

Against my coming : these my mother took 

And set upon my brow, smiling, and said, 

" Thy crown of glory other hands than mine, 

And in an hour of holier victory, 

Shall give thee." 

And at Oriel's signal came 
My father, bearing in his hand a harp 
Of simplest form but manifold in tones, 
Of musical modulations without end, 540 

And gave it to me, saying, " Take it, my son ; 
It is heaven's workmanship, and made for thee/' 
I took it, nothing loth ; and, though on earth 
In lute or harp my skill was nothing, then 
Immediately I felt the tremulous strings 
Responsive to my every thought, as when 
The wind in sportive or in pensive mood 
Wakens iEolian music. Strung it was 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 53 

And pitched in most mysterious unison 

With my heart's sympathies ; for when I laid 550 

My fingers on its airy chords, straightway 

My very soul gushed forth in melody, 

The harp and harper vibrating in tune : 

While words, like echoes of an old refrain 

That heard in childhood haunts our riper years, 

Broke in heaven's music from my lips — " To Him 

Who loved us, and hath washed us from our sins 

In His own blood, and made us unto God 

And to the Father kings and priests, to Him 

Be glory and dominion, power and praise 5 Go 

For ever and for evermore. Amen." 

And all the ransomed spirits rejoicingly 

Answered, " For evermore, Amen." And all 

The choir of angels struck their golden lyres, 

Prolonging the sweet melody, until 

On every face a brighter radiance fell, 

And He, whose presence in the bowers of bliss 

Is Omnipresent, secretly reveal'd 

Himself to each, diffusing fragrance round 

And joy unutterable; as when the wind 570 

Moves clouds of incense from an altar flame, 

And sheds a momentary roseate light 

On priests and worshippers and temple walls. 

The gleam o 3 the Divine glory passed : and then 
My children brought me fruitage they had pluckVi. 
From off the trees of life, and water drawn 



54 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

From living springs, and ruddy juice of grapes 

More large and luscious than the fruit which grew 

On EshcoFs sunny vines. Nor deem it strange 

That bodiless spirits partake of meat and drink. 580 

Are not the angels spirits ? and ate they not 

At Mamre, by the tent of Abraham, 

Pressed by his courteous hospitality ? 

And when the manna fell for forty years 

Around the watchfires of that pilgrim host, 

Was it not angel's food — the corn of heaven ? 

The Increate alone is self-sustained, 

Life in Himself possessing, and all other 

His creatures, from the burning seraphim 

That sing around His everlasting throne, 590 

Even to the moth which floating in the light 

Wings in an hour its little life away, 

Feed on the bounty of a Father's love, 

Who opens wide His hand and satisfies 

All living things with life-sustaining food. 

And so we bless'd the Ever Blessed One, 

And ate and drank with such pure appetite, 

As gives not pain but pleasure to the feasts 

Of angels. Nor was lacking there the joy 

Of innocent laughter (they who weep on earth 600 

Shall laugh in heaven) and all the genial glow 

Of brotherly endearment, heart to heart 

And eye to eye, after long severance, 

Meeting for ever in our Father's house. 

Sweet and refreshing interlude. 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 55 

But soon 
To graver converse turned we : and they askM, 
With keen expectancy, what last I knew 
Of the great warfare waged by saints on earth ? 
What lights of morning in the golden East 
Streaked the horizon? what the tidings sent 610 

From heathen shores and from Emmanuel's land ? 
What victories the cross had last achieved 
Over the paling crescent ? whether still 
The doomed embattlements of Babylon 
Stood in apparent might ? and if the Bride 
Sustained her weary vigil, as of old, 
From watch to watch repeating "Till He come V y 
They ask'd : I answered, marvelling to find 
How thin a veil parted the blessed Church 
Triumphant, and that militant on earth ; 620 

And how the wrestlers, racers, combatants, 
Wrestled and ran and fought, encompassed round 
So closely by a cloud of witnesses. 

Farther I may not linger to relate 
The infinite delights of that first tryst 
With those, who earlier than myself had won 
Their rest, and tasted of the fruit of life. 
It might be many days of earthly time, 
Which passed in glory without weariness 
Or measure. But at length our hearts were filFd, 6:30 
Even to the overflowing brim of joy, 
Each with the other's love ; and forth we passed, 



56 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

In groups or singly, on our several paths 

Of rest or service : service there is rest, 

Rest, service : for the Paradise of saints, 

Like Eden with its toilless husbandry, 

Has many plants to tend, and flowers to twine, 

And fruit-trees in the garden of the soul, 

That ask the culture of celestial skill. 

Some wandered amid vines, and flowery meads, 640 

And from the grateful lips of angels leaned 

More virtues than he knew who spake of trees 

From cedars to the hyssop on the wall. 

Some perfected their skill in dance and song, 

With lyre or lute accompanied, and made 

Those woods and valleys vocal with sweet sounds, 

Sweeter than those which from a thousand birds 

Fill Vallombrosa's vale in spring-time. Here 

It was perpetual spring. Some clomb with ease, 

Swift as the winds, the everlasting hills, 650 

And from their summit bathed in light surveyed 

The glorious landscape. Some in silence mused : 

Heaven has its calm unbroken solitudes 

For prayer and lonely meditation meet. 

And some in clusters, walking or recline, 

Heard from an elder saint or guardian spirit 

The awful story of the past, or bent 

Over the mystic chart of prophecy, 

Brother to brother saying, " It is done. 

The day-spring is at hand." 660 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 57 

Me Oriel led 

From bower to bower, from peopled glen to glen, 

From saintly company to company, 

And showed me of the mysteries that fill 

That world of spirits, that nether Paradise, 

That suburb of the New Jerusalem, 

That Beautiful gate of heaven, that vestibule 

Where the saints wait their bright apparelling 

Of glory 'neath the veil now rent which hangs 

Betwixt the Holy and Most Holy Place. 

Children of light, through fields of light we passed 670 

Unchallenged, not ungreeted with the smiles 

Of welcomes without number. And I marked 

How largely the redeemed, though free to range 

Within the limits almost limitless 

Of those celestial regions, grouped themselves, 

They and their guardian spirits, with other saints, 

Their fellow-pilgrims on the earth. It was 

No rigid severance ; for many walked, 

As we were walking, to and fro abroad 

Throughout those blissful mansions : but enough 680 

Of chosen and endeared companionship 

To mark the character of centuries 

And generations, as concentric rings 

Of increase chronicle the growth of trees ; 

Or as the strata of the rocks record, 

Not without many an intercepting vein, 

The onward march of ages. Oriel read 

My wonder, though unspoken, and replied 



58 THE PAHADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

" Remember that the same Omniscient Love 

Designed this temple built of living stones, 690 

Wherein Himself to dwell for evermore, 

As hung the firmament with globes of light, 

And grouped them, as it pleased Him best, in groups 

Of suns and planets, and in spiral coils 

Of stars innumerable, and decreed 

Amid this maze of constellations each 

Should minister to each, and by one law 

Of gravitation be for ever linked. 

So by the vast necessity of love, 

Necessity with equal freedom poised, 700 

Saints cling to saints, angels to angels cleave, 

And men and angels in One Father's house 

Are all as brethren. Not that love can be 

Without the chosen specialties of love, 

The nearest to the nearest most akin. 

But none are strangers here, none sojourners : 

And as the cloudless ages glide away, 

New fountains of delight to us, to all, 

Will open in the fellowship of hearts, 

Unfathom'd by us yet. Nor time will fail ; 710 

For an eternity to come is ours 

With humble contemplation to adore 

The counsels of a past eternity. 

But mark who next seem waiting our advance 

In yonder vale/' 

Straightway I looked, and lo, 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 59 

We were among the parents of that age 

In which my life was cast — my father's peers — 

Some of them standard-bearers in God's host, 

Who, when their mortal course was finished, left 

Large space, and in the front ranks, as they fell, 720 

Till comrades pressing onward fill'd the chasm : 

And others walking in the lowliest paths 

Of earth, now comrades with the highest in heaven. 

The first who greeted me by name was one 

Whom I had known long since, an aged saint, 

Dwelling all lonely in her little room, 

On scantiest means subsisting and content, 

But with a queenly heart, wide as the world, 

And loving all for His sake who is love : 

Hers now was meet society. And then 730 

Saluted me the venerable man 

Whose writings first waken'd my dying soul 

To deathless life — one of those secret bonds 

Which interlink the family of God. 

But here I must not register the names 

Of these, and spirits of every clime and tongue, 

Who thronged this region clothed in dazzling white : 

For through them, bent on traversing the fields 

Of Paradise, onward to other ranks 

Of that illimitable host we passed, 740 

Their fathers and their fathers' fathers, men 

Whose lamps burn'd brightly once in earthly gloom, 

And now themselves shone forth as stars in heaven, 



60 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

Illuminating with eternal light 

The brightness of that filmless firmament. 

So passed we on from saintly band to band 
Among those vales resting from all their toil, 
In multitudes more countless than the tribes 
Of Israel when from Dan to Beersheba 
Flocking to Zion's sacred hill they kept 750 

The feast of tabernacles, seven days 
Of song and gladness. In their midst I saw 
Some who appeared more radiant than the rest, 
And ask'd what meant their bright pre-eminence 
In glory. Oriel answered, u These are they 
Of whom the Church on earth so often sings ; 
Some of the martyrs* noble army : these 
For Christ gave up their bodies to be burned, 
Or bow*d their necks beneath the murderous sword ; 
Or, though their names appear not on the scroll 76o' 

Of inartyrologists, laid down their life, 
No less a martyrdom in Jesus* eyes, 
For His dear brethren's sake — watching the couch 
Of loathsome sickness or of slow decay ; 
Or binding up the ravages which men, 
Marring God's image, deal on fellow-men ; 
Or visiting the captive in his cell ; 
Or struggling with a burden not their own 
Until their very life-springs wore away. 
These too are martyrs, brother.'* 77o 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 61 

As he spake. 
The high supremacy of sacrifice, 
The majesty of service filPd my soul 
With thoughts too deep for words. 

And not a few 
I saw there of the goodly fellowship 
Of prophets, the ambassadors who stood 
Age after age amid the scoffing world, 
And lifted up the standard of the cross, 
Unmoved, undaunted. Nor, as some have deem'd, 
Form'd they an order to themselves of saints, 
But mingling moved, like shepherds through their 
flocks, 780 

Amid their fellow-saints, wielding the sway 
By them, by all, felt rather than confessed, 
Of grateful and predominating love. 
There is predominance in heaven, and grades 
Of lower and superior sanctities ; 
All are not equal there ; for brotherhood 
And freedom both abhor equality, 
The very badge of serfdom ; only there 
It is the true nobility of worth, 

The aristocracy of gentleness, 790 

The power of goodness and of doing good. 

And when I looked upon those blessed saints, 
Those perfect spirits, albeit the lowest there 
Was greater than the greatest upon earth, 



62 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

For all were clothed in sinless purity, 

At once I knew the principalities 

And virtues and subordinate degrees 

Amongst them. And when Oriel told their names, 

A deep chord vibrated within my heart, 

And past things lived again. And then I saw soo 

That many first were last, and last were first — 

Not all, not most, but many. There were those 

Once foremost in the foremost ranks, not now 

Distinguishable from their peers in light : 

And some, aforetime hidden and unknown, 

Now shone in lustrous dignity sublime. 

But one and all were circled with a cloud 

Of infant spirits, pure mirthful innocents, 

Like sunbeams glancing to and fro, like birds 

Warbling their song of praise. The elder saints 8IQ 

Seem'd to my eyes a countless multitude ; 

But these cherubic babes outnumbered them, 

As the dark pine-trees of Siberia's wilds, 

Unfell'd immeasurable forests, yield 

In numbers to the ferns and summer flowers 

Which grow beneath their shadowing boughs, and fringe 

Their gnarled roots with beauty. Heaven methinks — 

So awful is eternal life, so vast 

Its lights and shadows — heaven itself would seem 

Too solemn and severe without its choirs 820 

Of infants revelling in innocence, 

Who never knew a touch of sinful grief, 

But live in joy, and joy because they live. 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 68 

So hath God willU So will'd the Son of God 

What time He took the children in His arms, 

Laying His hands on them and blessing them, 

And saying, " Suffer them to come to Me, 

Forbid them not, for of such babes as these 

And sucklings is My kingdom in the heavens/" 

But time and space would fail me to narrate 830 

All I beheld in that great under- world ; 

The golden grain of threescore centuries 

Reaped from a thousand harvest-fields and stored 

In heaven. Backward from age to age we traced 

The course of time along those wastes of gloom, 

When darkness brooded o'er the Church of God, 

A darkness amid which the lurid flames 

Of persecution blazed, and witnesses, 

A mystic time and times and half a time, 

In ashes and in sackcloth prophesied, 840 

Now clothed in dazzling light : and with them those 

Who underneath the skirts of Antichrist 

Bewildered clung to Christ, and led by Him, 

In cell or cloister groped their way to heaven : 

Not one was wanting there. 

And there we saw 
The children of the Gospel's holier dawn, 
Austin, and Chrysostom, and Cyprian, 
And Irenseus, and blest Polycarp, 
Names representing many not unlike 
In love and labour, fellow-travellers 850 



64 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

On earth, now fellow-citizens in heaven. 

And there was holy Antipas, and there 

The protomartyr Stephen ; and the band 

Whom Jesus chose, the Apostolic Twelve, 

As heralds of His love to all the world. 

Peter and John were walking, as of old 

They used to walk along the silver sand 

Washed by the waters of Gennesaret, 

In closest converse ; and beside them he 

Of all men likest Christ, whose cross he preached 860 

Unwearied from Jerusalem to Rome, 

Burning with fire or melting into tears, 

As God's Spirit moved upon his human spirit — 

The myriad-minded, lion-hearted Paul : 

Amid heaven's peers peerless triumvirate. 

Yet as we pass'd they bent a beaming smile 

On me the humblest and the last arrived 

Of all their brotherhood, so full of love 

It seem'd to promise feasts of intercourse 

In after ages. And not far from them, 87o 

Half hidden by a branching tree of life, 

Type of herself, the blessed Mary sate, 

In calm humility musing alone 

Upon those mysteries of grace, which seem'd 

Vaster in length and breadth, and depth and height, 

The measureless dimensions of God's love, 

As still the Bridal of the Church drew near. 

Hard by, Elizabeth and Zachary, 

Anna the prophetess, and Simeon stood, 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. 65 

Engraven on whose countenance I traced 880 

The light of summer suns and mellow tints 

Of autumn, not the wintry frosts of age. 

And with them he who in the wilderness 

Was the voice heralding the Word, the star 

That hid itself within the golden beams 

Of the uprisen Sun of Righteousness. 

Nor was there any chasm betwixt the saints 
Who wrought before and after. They were one, — 
One building, and one body, and one bride. 

I saw the wise sons of Betirah there, 890 

Hillel who loosed, and Shammai who bound, 
And Rabban, HillePs son, and Jonathan ; 
And near them those great worthies, who deserved 
So nobly of their noble fatherland, 
The dauntless and heroic Maccabees ; 
And there the mother of those tortured sons, 
Who in their dying suffered sevenfold death, 
Yet flinched not : round her clustering they stood 
A retinue of everlasting praise ; 

She was not childless now. Esther was there, 900 

More lovely than upon that golden eve 
When she her royal captor captive led ; 
And saintly Daniel, and the three who walked 
Unsinged and scatheless in the fiery flame ; 
And all the holy seers from Malacbi 
To Samuel ; there the rapt Ezekiel, 

F 



66 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

And plaintive Jeremy, and he whose lips 

A seraph touched with a live coal of fire. 

And there the kingly Hezekiah moved 

Among the thrones of heaven ; and David's son 9 s 

Was there ; and David the beloved himself, 

Touching a sweeter harp than that he struck 

Upon the grassy slopes of Bethlehem. 

And there I saw the captains of God's hosts, 

Samson and Jephthah, not without his child, 

Who for her country and her father's vow 

A virgin lived and died ; and Gideon ; 

And Deborah the warrior prophetess ; 

And him who led his people Israel 

Through Jordan's smitten waves, the son of Nun ; 920 

And, of the elder saints haply the first, 

Moses the man of God, who, looking down 

On all the royalties of Egypt, sought 

A nobler sceptre and a name inscribed, 

Not in the hieroglyphic scrolls of men, 

But in God's book of life. And there were all 

The pilgrim fathers in the better land 

They long'd for ; Joseph and the patriarchs, 

The princely Israel, and that child of prayer, 

The meditative son of Abraham, 930 

And Abraham himself, the friend of God ; 

And Noah and his children, who by faith 

Condemn'd the faithless world ; and those who prayed 

In time's first dawn the matins of the Church, 

Seated around our primal ancestors, 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BIASSED DEAD. 07 

The father and the mother of mankind, 

Who through the Son of Man, the woman's Seed, 

Had won in heaven a nobler Paradise 

Than Eden, forfeited and lost by sin. 

Long while I gazed in silent awe ; for these 940 

Were only some familiar names and few 
Among ten thousand times ten thousand saints, 
All diversely felicitous, and each 
On each reflecting gladness. But at last 
The fire of love and admiration burn'd 
So hot within me, that I spake and said, 
" O blessed Oriel, can the highest heavens 
Surpass the glory of this Paradise ? 
If only all I loved were present now, 
Here, here methinks I could for ever dwell. 950 

What beauty can excel these radiant forms ? 
What do they lack of excellence or grace ? 
Are they not swifter than the viewless winds ? 
Are they not pure as is the light itself? 
Say, are there brighter robes in heaven, or harps 
Of tenderer music ? Or have they who walk 
The golden streets and fill with songs of praise 
The mansions of the New Jerusalem, 
More open vision of the Lord their God, 
And in Him more divine beatitude ? ,J 9G0 

Smiling, my guardian answered, " It is sweet 
Be sure for me, who hither led thy steps, 
f 2 



68 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK 

To hear thy words of rapturous delight 

In this fair world of purity and peace, 

And in these blessed spirits who here throng 

Heaven's portals, waiting their investiture 

With resurrection glory. Yes, the Bride 

Is almost ready for her bridal robes : 

The heavenly temple is almost complete. 

How different from that hour, for I was here, 970 

When the first saint, disrobed of mortal flesh, 

The martyred Abel, trod these fields, and we 

His angel brothers sought, and not in vain, 

To gladden his else solitary rest. 

Since then six thousand years have passed : and now 

The countless multitudes of God's elect, 

The festal throng and church of the firstborn, 

Are well nigh gathered home. Yet think not this 

The crown and final summit of their joy. 

They are not perfect here, whose bodies sleep 980 

And moulder crumbling in the silent tomb, 

Death's trophies ; for the union, flesh and spirit, 

In one compacted, was the fruit mature 

Of God's eternal counsels, when He breathed 

Into the moulded clay the breath of life, 

And man became a living soul : and when 

The dust returns unto its kindred dust, 

And the lone spirit to God, this strange divorce 

Is the permitted reign, gloomy though brief, 

Of the dread king of terrors. Here unclothed 990 

Of their own natural apparelling, 



II.] THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. ()D 

Man's proper garb, their puissance is weak 

To that of angels who were formed by God 

Pure spirits. Nor is this Paradise of saints, 

Albeit large and glorious, more than one 

Of many mansions in our Father's house, 

Wherein His children, by their birthright free 

Of His whole universe, and citizens 

Of the celestial city, wait the hour 

Which shall for ever consummate their bliss. 1000 

But see who yonder walk/' 

I look'd, and lo, 
Two diverse from the rest appeared. Their form 
Was that of men, and yet not mortal men ; 
Their likeness spiritual, yet not spirits alone ; 
So pure the texture of that robe they wore, 
The light translucent through transfigured flesh, 
As onyx stones, or ruby flashing fire. 

" Who are these," I exclaim'd, " these royal priests ? 
Are they Elias, and that saint who walk'd 
With God and was not V* 

" Rightly hast thou judged/' 1010 
Oriel made answer ; " and their presence here 
Is pledge and earnest to the Blessed Dead 
Of that great resurrection day, whose dawn 
Already gilds the Easter of the world : 
They with the saints who rose when Jesus rose 



70 THE PARADISE OF THE BLESSED DEAD. [BOOK II. 

Are wave-sheafs of the harvest. But of these 

And other mysteries in earth and heaven 

Conversing, on the range of yonder hills, 

Whose summits bound these beatific fields, 

And look far off into the waste beyond, 1 020 

If such thy pleasure, let us wait the end." 



END OF THE SECOND BOOK. 



71 



BOOK III. 

THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 

Come, Thou Eternal Spirit, who on the face 

Of the abysmal waters, when the earth 

Was without form and void, brooding didst move, 

Silent Omnipotence, unseen but felt, 

The while beneath Thy penetrating power 

Light at the voice of God brake forth, a faint 

Far tremour in the sunless starless gloom, 

Creation's twilight, nor didst cease Thy work, 

Till looking forth upon the vast expanse, 

By mountains, rivers, lakes, and placid seas 10 

Diversified, on that first sabbath's eve, 

Infinite Goodness said that all was good : 

Come Thou, and brood over the deep unknown 

Which bounds the known in me, nor suffer clouds, 

Born of unfathomable mysteries, 

To oast their shade athwart heaven's blessed light, 

While, led by Thee, I speak of other worlds 

Than those fair fields I lately walk'd, and tell 

What from the' utmost precincts of Paradise 



7*2 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

I and my angel guardian saw and heard 20 

Of outer darkness and Tartarean night . 

Come ; for Thou dwellest in the highest heavens, 

Thyself inhabiting eternity, 

Alone, Supreme, beyond all time and space, 

Yet deignest in the contrite heart to' abide 

As in Thy chosen temple, Spirit of Truth, 

Who, in Thy Pentecostal might, from heaven 

Descending as a mighty rushing wind, 

Didst rest upon Thy suppliant saints of old 

In likeness as of cloven tongues of fire, 30 

A crown of lambent and innocuous flame ; 

Purge Thou mine eyes from film, my heart from fear ; 

Inspire, illumine, fortify my soul ; 

Breathe, O Thou Breath Divine, on my emprise ; 

Touch my fain lips, strengthen my feeble hands ; 

Nor let my footstep unawares intrude 

On counsels Thou art pleased to veil from man, 

Nor where Thy lamp shines dimly press too far 

Adventurous, nor in coward disbelief 

Shrink back appall'd where Thou dost lead the way. 40 

As sweeps a breeze from off the spicy plains 
Of Florence to the lonely Apennines, 
Its passage only marked by rustling leaves 
In the thick olive-groves, and stronger waves 
Of light upon the mountain rivulets, 
So from that peopled glen, where last we saw 
The parents of mankind, Oriel and I 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 78 

Along* those plains and smiling valleys pass'd, 
And up a forest-clad ravine that scarred 
The bastions of those everlasting hills, 50 

Heaven's boundary, and, emerging, found ourselves 
On a vast table-land, leagues upon leagues 
In breadth, which traversed, led our rapid course 
To other hills hidden before from view : 
These scaled, we landed on a second plain 
Sublime, engirdled by yet distant peaks, 
The triple wall and battlements of heaven. 
Harder than adamant these rocks, yet seem'd 
Of such original substance, as those beds 
Of ice which with the flow of centuries 60 

Creep along Alpine glens : rocks, half opaque, 
Half lucid, w^here the piercing light was lost 
In depths impervious of intensest green : 
Ramparts far loftier than those giant hills, 
With rhododendrons clad, and crowned with snows, 
The ancient Himalays. But, light as air, 
We clomb that uttermost of Paradise ; 
A path no vulture's eye hath ever seen, 
A height no eagle's wing hath ever soar'd, 
And standing on its extreme ridge, look'd down, 70 

Lone sentinels. Strange promontory ours : 
Behind us lay the radiant fields of bliss ; 
« But who, unblanch'd with terror, may describe 
The scene before us ? Not in terraces 
Or tiers of hills, mountains on mountains built, 
Yielding access, though arduous, but a sheer 



74 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

Precipitate descent, a horrid chasm, 

Few paces off from where we stood, there yawned 

Right at our feet : down, ever down, a depth 

Equal the height of those eternal hills, so 

And how much lower no created eye 

Might fathom : for a sea of clouds midway 

Surged up and sank, and sinking, surged again, 

Not vaporous mists alone, but sulphur smoke, 

Mingled with sparkles, and with lurid flames, 

Earth, air, fire, water, formless, shapeless, waste, 

A chaos of all elements disturbed, 

Fused and confused, which seem'd a billowing tide, 

Hither and thither swayed, storm-tost, suspense, 

Betwixt that awful cliff of Paradise 90 

Rolling, and the far distant shore beyond. 

Was it a shore beyond ? At first it seem'd 
Darkness alone, the absence of all light, 
Blackness of darkness. But the while I gazed 
Astonied, and mine eye more used became 
To bear the dazzling terror of that gloom, 
Dim lineaments before me slowly stretched, 
And distances receding without end 
Into the utter void ; the realm of night, 
A land of darkness and of gloominess, 100 

Dark mountains, and yet darker vales between, 
And waveless depths profound, darkest of all; 
A world overshadowed with the pall of death, 
The sepulchre of life. But whence it came 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 75 

Those outlines were not wholly' invisible, 

I knew not. Loom'd there such a sullen glow 

As fire suppressed, not quenched, emits : or such 

Faint earthlight as our planet casts reflex 

On the dull surface of the crescent moon ; 

Or likest that sad mockery of day t Id 

He sees who, standing near as dread permits, 

Beside a stream of burning lava, views 

The blasted landscape in the dead of night. 

Awe-struck I gazed ; but for relief ere long 
Turned to the happy fields of light, which lay 
Behind us, nurturing my soul awhile 
With their pure joys. Then first I ask'd myself 
What made that heavenly Eden luminous 
With glory, and looked up instinctively 
On the blue crystal of the firmament, 120 

Blue only from intensity of clear, 
As if expecting there some orb of light ; 
But there no lamp appeared, no sun, no moon, 
No star far glimmering in the azure vault ; 
And yet the islands in the southern seas, 
Basking in light when rains have cleared the sky, 
Were never bathed in radiance pure as this : 
And Oriel saw my wonder and replied : 

" Brother, remember Paradise is heaven, 
Heaven's portal, and the portal of God's house 130 

Needs not the shining of created light ; 



76 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

For He, the Light of Light, is ever there, 

And, where He is, there darkness can't exist ; 

Such virtue His eternal Presence sheds 

Throughout the courts where He abides well pleased, 

Rejoicing in the beauty' of holiness. 

Far otherwise those realms of utter night, 

Which lie beyond the mighty gulf thou seest, 

Are darkened with the shadow of His wrath. 

That which is glory here is darkness there ; 140 

As when the fiery cloudy pillar stood, 

A shield betwixt the hosts of Israel 

And baffled Egypt's chariots. Nor can those 

Who fain would pass from us to yonder world 

On thoughts of pity' intent, or hence to us, 

Traverse with foot or wing yon chasm profound : 

Not for the interval, — for as thou seest 

The landscapes of those desolate regions lie 

Within our range, and listening we might catch 

(So subtle here the waves of light and sound) 150 

Far off its cries and voices ; and as spirits 

Ourselves, with speed of lightnings, to and fro 

Go and return ; but that a spiritual law, 

Akin to that magnetic force which binds 

The mortal habitants of earth to earth, 

Has laid its viewless interdict between, 

And bound the sons of darkness and of light 

Each to their proper home. There is no path 

From hell to heaven, from heaven to hell direct. 

But haply thou remember'st, ere we touch'd 160 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 77 

The outer confines of this world of spirits, 

A roadway wrapt in clouds and gloom which stretched 

Far to the left of our celestial course, 

A roadway with funereal blackness hung 

As ours with bridal light, and resonant 

With sighings of despair, as ours with songs 

Of triumph. To the gates of hell it leads, 

Meet access for meet bourn, and down its track 

The angels, the executors of wrath, 

Bear in their hands lost men and rebel spirits, 170 

Consigning them to their awarded prison 

Of darkness, till the judgment trumpet sounds." 

u And hast thou ever trodden that dread path, 
And entered those eternal gates, and seen 
The secrets of that penal world V 9 I ask'd, 
And my voice faltered as I spake. 



"Yes, thrice," 
Oriel replied with calm unfaltering lip, 
And with his words his countenance benign 
Grew more and more severely beautiful, 
The beauty of triumphant holiness, 1 so 

The calm severity of burning love : 
" Thrice in my ministry of saints hath God 
OrdahVd me to fulfil His missions there ; 
And, brother, His behests are always good ; 
Pure goodness without stain of evil, light 



78 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

Without the shadow of a shade of dark. 

The earliest that I trod that awful road, 

It was my charge, with other spirits elect, 

A legion arai'd of warrior seraphim, 

To bear in chains to their dark prison-house 190 

Those angels who forsook their high estate 

Through alien and unnatural lust. Of this 

Thou shalt learn more hereafter. But the first 

Of disembodied human souls I bore 

To his own place in yonder realms of wrath 

Was one I fondly loved, of noble birth, 

Of high and generous bearing, who, alas, 

Like some brave vessel cast on shifting sands, 

Made shipwreck of his faith and sank to ruin. 

" In brief, the story of his life was this : — 200 

Three centuries and more had passed away 
Since Jesus' birth in Bethlehem ; and he, 
Of whom I tell thee, was a chieftain, born 
Of Christian mother, but of heathen sire. 
This was the bitter fountain of a stream 
Of bitterness. For when in evil hour 
His mother gave her heart to one who loved 
The gods she loathed, and loathed the cross she loved — 
She married immortality to death, 

Faith to distrust, and hope to dark despair : 210 

Discordant wedlock, whence discordant fruit. 
Fondly she dreamed by ceaseless prayers to win 
Her spouse to Christ. Vain hope ! her broken troth 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 79 

Hung like a leaden weight on every prayer : 

And he, a haughty consular of Rome, 

Scorned her low creed, himself incredulous, 

Yet loved the lovely votary. And when 

The sweet pledge of their bridal joy was given, 

And she would dedicate their child to God, 

With equal scorn he yielded to her tears 220 

A thing indifferent. In a lonely cave 

Amid a group of trembling fugitives, — 

For hatred then pursued the Christian name, — 

An aged priest baptized him Theodore. 

God's gift, his mother whispered. And thenceforth 

She pour'd upon him, him her only child, 

The priceless treasures of a mother's heart. 

I was his chosen guardian. No light watch, 

No easy vigil ; for his home, unlike 

The moated fortress of a faithful house, 230 

Was ever open to the spirits malign. 

But not an arrow reached him. From himself, 

And not from hellish fraud or violence, 

His ruin. O mysterious web of life ; 

Its warp of faith, its woof of unbelief; 

The mother teaching prayers the father mock'd ! 

And yet her spell was earliest on her child, 

And strongest. And the fearless Theodore 

Was called by other men, and calPd himself, 

A Christian. Love, emotion, gratitude, 240 

All that was tenderest in a tender heart, 

All most heroic in a hero's soul, 



80 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

Pleaded on Christ's behalf. And oft I hoped, 
Hoped against hope, that his was real faith, 
A graft, a germ, a blossom — hoped till I 
Could hope no longer, for I never saw 
That warrior (he was trained to arms) prostrate 
A broken suppliant at the throne of love. 

" The hour drew on that tried him. Constantine, 
The first of Christian emperors, was now 250 

Marching with lion springs from land to land 
Triumphant. Him to meet in mortal fight 
Maxentius hurried, vowing to his gods 
That, if they crown' d his eagles, he would crush 
The cross throughout the universe of Rome. 
And Theodore, won by his mother's prayers, 
Was with the faithful army ; when it chanced, 
In sack of a beleaguer'd city, he saved 
A Grecian maiden and her sire from death : 
Her name Irene, his Iconocles : 260 

Among the princes he a prince, of all 
Fair women she the fairest of her race, 
Not only for her symmetry of form, 
But for the music and the love which breathed 
In every motion and in every word. 
Yet both were worshippers at Phoebus' shrine, 
Fast bound in midnight-dark idolatry. 
And, when the enamour'd Theodore besought 
His daughter of her sire, Iconocles 
Made answer, ' Never shall my child be his 270 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 81 

Who kneels before a malefactor's cross. 

Thy choice, Irene, or the Crucified/ 

And she by oath affirmed her father's word. 

" Then was there tempest in the swelling 1 heart 
Of Theodore : truth struggled and untruth 
In terrible collision. For an hour 
He paced before his tent irresolute ; 
Now cleaving to his mother's faith, alas, 
More hers than his ; and now by passionate gusts 
Driven from his anchorage, a helmless bark. 280 

Conscience was quick ; and God's Spirit strove with him 
'Twas mine to ward the powers of darkness off; 
And singly with himself the awful fight 
Was foughten, and, oh woe ! for ever woe ! 
Was lost. And he said, i Adam chose to die, 
Not circumvented, not deceived like Eve, 
But braving death itself for her dear sake. 
So will I die. I cannot leave that spirit 
Angelic in a human form enshrined. 
She must be mine for ever. Life were death 290 

Without her/* And straight entering, where she leaned 
Upon her father, as white jasmine leans 
On a dark pine, slowly, resolvedly, 
As measuring every word with fate, he said, 
' Irene, if the choice be endless woe, 
For thy sake I renounce my mother's faith : 
I cannot, will not leave thee. I am thine/ 

G 



82 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

" And through the dusky twilight that same eve 
The three forsook the tents of Constantine 
And joined Maxentius' host. And without pause, 300 
Amid his early friends, Iconocles 
Unto the marriage altar proudly led 
The offering who had won so great a foe : 
Small space was there for hymeneal pomp : 
A soldier's spousal 'mid the clash of arms. 

a That very night Great Constantine beheld 
The fiery cross upon the sky, and read 
The signal, In hoc vinces. And the morn, 
Strange portent, saw far floating o'er his ranks 
The labarum emblazoned with the cross. 310 

The armies rush'd to battle. Theodore 
Rose from his nuptial couch, a desperate man ; 
No thought of penitence, none of retreat ; 
But in his eye a wild disastrous fire, 
Sign of the fiercer flame he nursed within. 
Lost, ruin'd, hopeless, and as glad to' escape 
The tempest raging in his heart, he strode 
Impetuously into the thickest fight, 
And prodigies of valour wrought that day, 
Felling beneath his fratricidal blade 320 

Whole ranks, his comrades and his brethren late, 
Brethren in faith and arms. But as he stamped 
Upon the fallen in defiant pride, 
And now as madden'd or inspired by hell 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 83 

Pour'd blasphemies upon the Holy Name 

His mother taught his infant lip to lisp 

In blessings, even as he spake the words, 

An unknown arrow, not unfledged with prayer, 

Transpierced his eye and brain. Sudden he fell : 

One short sharp cry ; one strong convulsive throe ; 330 

And in a moment his unhappy spirit 

Was from its quivering tabernacle loosed. 

" Oh awful passage ! from the din and roar 
Of battle, from the trampling of horse-hoofs, 
The roll of chariots, and the measured tread 
Of thousands, from the brazen trumpet's blare 
Drowning the shouts of victors, and the cries 
Of wounded, agonizing, dying men, 
From the worst dissonance of earth and time, — 
The soul, in an eye's twinkling, brought to face 340 

The calm deep silence of eternity. 

" As stunned, the disembodied spirit awhile 
Fix'd upon things unseen a vacant gaze : 
But quickly' awaking from that dreadful swoon 
To worse reality, he cried, the first 
If not the strongest passion of his life 
Surviving all the earthquake shock of death, 
1 Mother, where art thou, mother ? where am I ? \ 
And not till then emerging on his view 
I spake and said, ' Lost spirit, it is not mine 350 

To aggravate thy utter wretchedness 

G 2 



84 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

By words of idle grief or vain rebuke, 

But to convey thee to that viewless world 

Where thou must wait thy sentence from the lips 

Of infinite, supreme, eternal Truth. 

But thus far only, to anticipate 

Resistance ; — to resist were futile here : 

Almighty Power hath given thee to my charge, 

And thou wert strengthless in my grasp. Our road 

Lies yonder. Lost one, rise and come with me/ 360 

So saying I laid my hand upon his hand, 

And through his nerveless spirit he felt the touch 

Of might superior to his own, and shrank 

Appalled, but soon remembering my words, 

Yielded and went with me the way I trod, 

In tearless silence and in mute despair. 

" It is not thus with all when first they wake 
To consciousness of ruin. Some straightway 
Will wring their hands in agony, and weep, 
And pour their lamentations forth in words, 370 

And wail for bitter anguish. Others strive 
With proud reluctancies and vain despite 
Against their dark inevitable doom. 
Others, palsied with terror, shivering stand. 
Others curse their creation. Theodore 
Was diverse from such men on earth, and now 
Was diverse. As I spake, at one fell glance 
He seem'd to measure the abyss profound 
Before him, and bv terrible resolve, 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. K5 

Alas, too late submissive, to aeeept 380 

The everlasting punishment of sin. 

" At first our pathway was the same as that 
Which led thee homeward, brother. Through the heaven 
Which wraps the earth in its cerulean robe, 
And through the starry firmament, until 
The sun which lightens the terrestrial globe 
Paled like a distant lamp, slowly we passed ; 
Slowly, — I had no heart for speed, nor was 
The King's commission urgent. He delights 
In mercy, and His embassies of grace 390 

Have never found seraphic wings too swift : 
But judgment is His strange and dreadful work. 
And, as with measured step we trod adown 
That highway through the heavens precipitate, 
My hopeless captive gazed a long last gaze 
Upon the fading sun and passing stars 
As signs which he should never more behold : 
And drawn from out his bosom's depths at last 
A groan brake from him, and he sobb'd aloud — 
' My mother, oh my mother, from thy love 400 

I learn'd to love those silent orbs of light, 
God's watchers thou didst call them, as they peer'd 
Evening by evening on my infant sleep, 
And mingled with my every boyish dream : 
Are they now shining on thy misery ? 
Who, now that I am gone, will wipe thine eyes ? 
Who, mother, bind thy bruised and broken heart ? 



86 THE P1US0N OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

Broken, by whom ? by me, thy nestling babe, 
Thy darling child, thy pride in arms ; by me, 
Thy wretched, renegade, apostate son/ 410 



" So mourn'd he, and I answered, c Theodore, 
Thou hast enough to bear of things that are, 
Without this load of unsubstantial grief. 
Thy mother knew not thine apostasy, 
Nor otherwise will deem of thee than slain 
One of the Christian host, the little while 
Weeping she sojourns in the vale of tears. 
Such fear she never harboured, and the cloud 
Of mercy veils thy ruin from her eye, 
Until the awful shades of time are seen 420 

In the clear noon-day of eternity. 
Thus far it is permitted thee to know/ 



" My words were only the bare utterance 
Of truth, but never will this heart forget 
The impress of the look he cast on me. 
He had not wept before ; but now a tear 
Hung on his trembling lids, through which he looked 
Such gratitude as utter hopelessness 
May render, like the Grecian fire that burns 
Far under the deep waves, a look which said, 430 

' I thank thee as the damn'd alone can thank : 
Lost as I am, hell will not be such hell, 
The while my mother thinks of me in heaven.' 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. s ? 

" Again in speechless silence we moved on, 
Until that billowy sea of mists and clouds 
Which wraps the world of spirits appeared in sight ; 
And to our nearer step the avenue 
Celestial opened its translucent road, 
Emitting floods of glory ; and there distinct, 
Hovering upon its golden skirts, we saw 440 

A group of angels waiting to receive 
An aged pilgrim home, and heard far off 
Their jubilant acclamations. Ours, alas ! 
Another path. Far to the left it led, 
Gloomy as night. And as we turned aside 
From those fair portals, piteously I marked 
The longing, lingering, almost loving look 
Which my unhappy captive cast behind, 
As if heaven's sights and sounds, once seen and heard, 
Might haply prove a gracious memory 4 50 

Amid the cries of everlasting woe 
And discords without end. 

u But now the light 
Was fading : shadows into shadows gloomed 
More awful ; and obscurity itself 
Became more inexpressibly obscure, 
More solid, as the interposing clouds 
High overhead, beneath us, and beyond, 
Built up impervious ramparts every way 
Except the desolate ravine we trod. 
Night reign'd sole monarch here, and spread around 46o 



88 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

Palpable darkness, darkness unrelieved 

Save by the radiance of my form, a faint 

And feeble torch in that ungenial air, 

But yet enough to show the massive sides 

Of fogs impenetrable. Never yet 

Saw I such darkness : for, when last I marched 

This dreadful road, I came accompanied 

By a whole legion arm^d of spirits elect, 

Whose light, each on the other, blaze on blaze, 

Reflected, and turned midnight into noon. 470 

But now I was alone — the Lord of Hosts 

Makes all His servants lean on His sole arm — 

Alone, my clinging captive and myself : 

Though in the distance more than once methought 

I heard the rushing of cherubic wings, 

And, like a glimmering meteor, caught the flash 

Of some good angel's transitory flight. 

Haply the whole ravine equals in length, 

Nor more than equals, that resplendent track 

By which my courier angels bore thee on 4SO 

To sound of ljTes, and lutes, and welcome songs, 

Up to the pearly gates of Paradise ; 

But here our flight was difficult and slow, 

And seven times seven appeared the weary length 

Of that interminable road. At last 

A dull and ruddy glow tinctured the gloom : 

Not light, but something which made black itself 

Not viewless. As to one standing aloof, 

When Etna or Vesuvius pour their wrath 



III.] THE P1US0N OF THE LOST. 89 

In giant folds of smoke voluminous, 490 

A gloaming-, from the fiery crater cast, 

Paints from below the dark impending mass ; 

So to our eyes the steep descent became 

Not all invisible, its cloudy walls 

And wide abysses cavernous betwixt 

Of horrid emptiness. But on we moved, 

And swerved not to the right hand or the left, 

For now, far off, fronting our path profound, 

Before us rose the iron gates of hell. 

" We paused ; for lo, before these dreadful doors 500 
Waved what appeared a fiery sword, or swords 
Innumerable, haply not unlike 
That flaming falchion, which at Eden's gate 
Revolving every way, flame within flame, 
Guarded the tree of life. Only these blades 
Were vast as are the rays a setting sun, 
Hidden itself, will sometimes proudly cast 
Up to heaven's vault athwart a thunder cloud. 
But straight, as if they knew my mission, these 
Parted to right and left, and oped a way 510 

High overarched with fire, through which we passed 
Unscathed : and of themselves, dreadful to see, 
The adamantine doors of hell recoiPd 
Back, slowly back, with ponderous noise, — as when 
An Alpine avalanche moves from its ridge 
And with one crash of ruin overwhelms 



90 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

A valley's life, — and with their harsh recoil 
Disclosed the secrets of that world of woe. 



" Brother, come stand with me upon the edge 
Of this far-looking cliff, which overhangs 520 

The gulf betwixt that cursed land and ours 
Impassable. Not otherwise that day, 
Nor seen in other than yon dusky glow, 
The infernal realms, when we had passed the gates, 
Beneath us lay outstretched. Hills, valleys, plains, 
All mantled in disastrous twilight, couched 
Under our feet. But then it was no hour 
For marvel or for mute astonishment. 
Straight from the threshold of those gates sublime 
Through the oppressive sultry atmosphere 530 

I guided our slant flight, until midway 
Upon a barren mountain's steep ascent, 
(Yonder it rises girt with lesser hills,) 
Where a vast glen was ramparted with rocks, 
Alighting I relaxed my captive's hand. 

" And then and there upon that guilty man 
The Eye of everlasting righteousness 
Open'd. God look'd upon him. Through and through 
His naked spirit, searching its darkened depths, 
Passed, like a flame of fire, that Dreadful Eye, 540 

Passed and repassed, and passing still abode 
Upon him ; till the very air he breathed 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 01 

SeemM to his sense one universal flame 

Of wrath, eternal wrath, the wrath to come. 

And yet the glory of that majesty , 

That burning brightness, shone not then full orbM, 

But veiFd in part ; for disembodied souls, 

Dismantled of their proper robe of flesh, 

Could neither suffer nor sustain the weight 

Of that unclouded Holiness Divine, 550 

Which in the age of ages will subdue 

All foes beneath the footstool of His throne. 

So half eclipsed it shone : and a low wail 

Ere long brake from those miserable lips — 

■ O God, and is this hell ? and must this last 

For ever ? would I never had been born ! 

Why was I born ? I did not choose my birth. 

Thou, who didst create me, uncreate, 

1 pray thee. By Thine own omnipotence 

Quench Thou this feeble spark of life in me. 5(3o 

Why should I longer live ? I never more 

Can serve Thee : that Thy justice interdicts. 

I am no adversary worthy Thee. 

Can power be magnified on strengthlessness ? 

Put forth Thy might but once, and crush a worm, 

For love, for hate unequal both. O Christ, 

I kneel, I fall a suppliant at Thy throne. 

I ask not pardon. Grace, I know, is past : 

Redemption cannot cross those iron gates. 

But art not Thou the Son of God ? . Thyself 570 

God over all, supreme for evermore ? 



92 THE PRI80N OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

And are not all things possible with God ? 
O God, destroy me. Grant this latest boon 
Thy wretched, ruin'd child will ever ask, 
And suffer me to be no more at all/ 

" And then at last I spoke, ' Is this thy hope, 
Unhappy one, this aimless, bootless prayer ? 
Thou cravest what Omnipotence can do : 
Know that Omnipotence can but perform 
The counsels which Omniscient Love decrees. 580 

And therefore vainly dost thou now invoke 
Almighty Power to thwart All-seeing Love. 
It cannot be. Discord can never dwell 
Within the bosom of eternal Peace, 
Nor darkness stain that uncreated Light. 
What then remains for thee ? To flee were vain, 
And would but bring thee adamantine bonds ; 
And fresh rebellion here at once incur 
Immediate, instantaneous punishment. 
Free service, which is heaven's perennial joy, 590 

Guilt, said'st thou truly, interdicts. What then ? 
Passive submission is the only way 
Left thee to serve thy Maker. Hades knows 
No other law. The judgment is beyond. 
Meanwhile this valley is thy prison assigned ; 
And not in utter solitariness, 
For other souls, who like thyself have sinned, 
Some known to thee on earth and some unknown, 
Here wait their sentence, whose companionship 



Til.] THE PRISOX OF THE LOST. 93 

Will mitigate or aggravate thy woe, 600 

As thou submittest to the flame that burns 

The sin in thee with fire unquenchable, 

Or vainly chafest against its scorching ray: 

This yet is in thy choice. Haply at times 

This valley will be trodden by the feet 

Of angels on the embassies of God : 

But at rare intervals, for many and vast 

Are the dark fields of punishment, and few 

The ministrations of the sons of light 

In this the land of overshadowing death. 610 

And here there is no sentinel but God ; 

His Eye alone is jailor ; and His Hand 

The only executioner of wrath. 

And now I leave thee : let my words abide 

With thee, lest added torment scourge thy soul : 

Passive submission is the law of hell/ 

f€ But, even as I turned to leave him, slowly 
He raised his eyes, bow'd hitherto beneath 
The intolerable Eye of Holiness, 

Which rested on him evermore. And lo ! 620 

Far off, beyond this intervening chasm, 
Through an embrasure in heaven's triple wall, 
Where mountains distant mountains intersect, 
He caught a glimpse, permitted him by God, 
Of some sequestered spot in Paradise. 
It riveted his gaze : it fllFd his soul 
With longing : and unconsciously he cried, 



94 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

1 Am I asleep ? there is no slumber here. 

Is it a dream ? there are no dreams in hell. 

I see, I see far off the fields of bliss ; 630 

And there are figures moving to and fro : 

I see them by the liquid fountains walking, 

And resting underneath the trees of life. 

There I may never walk, there never rest : 

But oh, for one small ministry of love ! 

Oh, for one leaf of those delicious groves 

To soothe the scars of my eternal pain ! 

Oh, for one drop of those pure rivulets 

To cool, not slake, my agonizing thirst V 



" I could not leave him thus, vainly consumed 64 o 
By idle phantasies of hope, to which 
The fabled pangs of Tantalus were ease, 
And in mere pity answered, c Theodore, 
Those whom thou seest are reaping now the seed 
They sow'd on earth, and thou must do the same. 
Time is the seed-plot for eternity ; 
Eternitv the harvest-field of time. 
Thy lot is fiVd, and theirs. Nor can the foot 
Of disembodied spirit, nor angel wing, 
Transgress the deep inexorable gulf 650 

Betwixt the worlds of darkness and of light/ 



a Still gazed he on, and gazing still, replied, 
' There is no hope for me : but art not thou 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 95 

Returning to thy ministry on earth ? 

Would it were not so ! would that thou couldst stay 

For ever here, whose light ethereal form 

And heavenly essence suffer no eclipse 

From helFs dark murky atmosphere ! At first 

Sorely I feared thy dreadful touch of power, 

Before I knew thee good ; but now I see 660 

That in the hands of goodness power is love, 

And crave thy longer presence. That is vain : 

I know that thou must leave me. Thou canst do 

No more for me. But is there not a hope 

For one I briefly, passionately loved — 

Irene ? surely she is mine, for whom, 

Fool, fool, I bartered immortality. 

Angel, I would not she should perish too. 

Go to her straight, I pray thee. Lay thy hand 

Upon her, as on him who lingered once 670 

When wrath overshadowed Sodom. Force belief. 

Tell her, in mercy tell her, where I am — 

What suffering — what must suffer evermore : 

It may be, she will turn and live. And if, 

Whene'er my mother's pilgrimage is passed, 

And she, entering the gates of bliss, shall search 

Through every field of yonder Paradise 

To find her only son, and search in vain, 

If then thou wilt but try and comfort her — 

What way I know not, but thou know'st — and should 6so 

Her restless eye intuitively glance 

Towards this valley, instantly divert 



96 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

Its gaze else whither, thou wilt have done all 
I ask for, and far more than I deserve/ 

" I answered, ' Theodore, thy widowed spouse, 
Listening the story of the cross, has more 
Than angel importunity to urge 
Submission. Who resist the blood-stahVd cross 
Resist the uttermost that Heaven can do. 
Faith must be free, not forced. Nor deem that she 690 
Who bore thee, and who knows not yet thy doom, 
If counted worthy of the gates of bliss, 
Will need the ministry of angel hands 
To staunch her wounds, or wipe her tears away : 
Love, tenderer than the tenderest mother's, there 
Comforts the weary heart and weeping eye. 
Thy prayers to thy own bosom must return. 
And yet, unhappy spirit, the Eye, which lights 
Thy darkness with intolerable flame, 
Doth not consume in thee the secret spring too 

Of pity whence those supplications flowed. 
For pity is of God, a fragment left 
Even here of thy Divine original, 
Not wholly crushed. Nor can there be in God 
Wrath against any Godlike lineament, 
Wherever found, or howsoever dimmed. 
Not for thy pity art thou where thou art : 
Not for thy pity rests the wrath to come 
For ever on thy soul, but for thy sin 
Indulged, embraced, enjoyM, till sin and thou 710 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 97 

No longer separable things became 
Incorporate in one, one sinful life, 
One ever-living sinner. But the Day 
Is coming, which will all to all declare. 
And now, my mission done, my time elapsed, 
I leave thee in thy Just Creator's hands/ 

" So saying, through that lurid atmosphere 
I rose, and through the flaming vault of hell, 
And through the iron portals passed, which oped 
And closed behind me of their own accord, 720 

And through that dark ravine of midnight gloom, 
And up that mighty highway of the heavens, 
And by the passing stars and brightening sun ; 
Nor stayed upon the battle-field of earth, 
But upwards soaring with unwearied flight 
Swift as the lightning toward the heaven of heavens 
I bent my eager course, nor paused until 
Kneeling before the everlasting throne, 
And gazing on the emerald arch of love, 
I soothed my bosom's agitated depths 730 

In the calm presence of the light of God." 

Then Oriel's voice was hushed ; and for a space 
He seem'd as one communing with himself, 
And nurturing his strength with memories 
Of things that lived for ever in his soul, 
The record of his ministry approved, 
The beatific smile, the gracious words 

H 



98 



THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 



Of benediction, and the choral songs 
Of those who magnified his God in him : 
But soon, mindful of my solicitude, 
His awful story he resumed once more. 



[book 



740 



" Not then returned I straight to earth ; for then 
Throughout the lower provinces of heaven 
Was warfare. Michael and his angels fought, 
Satan and his : no visionary strife ; 
But battle such as earth has never seen, 
Seraph with seraph waning. And my lot 
Was with Messiah's armies militant 
To drive the rebel hosts from those fair realms 
Their presence had too long denied. Of this 750 

I will relate hereafter. But, expelFd 
From heaven, our foes and thine with doubled rage 
Possessed the lower firmament of earth. 
And from that hour for fifteen centuries, 
Not seldom with a band of spirits elect 
Encamping, but more oft alone with God, 
My charge was ministering to heirs of life. 
Blest heirs, twice blessed minister ! Nor came 
My summons the third time to tread the shores 
Of darkness, till the decade which forewent 760 

My latest guardianship of saints — thyself. 



u Already had the seven last angels, seen 
By John in Patmos, from heaven's sanctuary 
Come forth array'd in priestly robes of white, 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 09 

Girdled with gold, and bearing in their hands 
The mystic vials of the wrath of God. 
Already had they poured those censers forth 
Upon the earth, the sea, the river springs, 
The sun's orb, and the great usurper's throne. 
Two only' of seven remained. It was the year 770 

When the last throes of labouring France were still'd, 
And her proud despot, he for whom the world 
Once seem'd too insignificant a throne, 
Was banish'd to his narrow sea-girt isle 
To chafe against the idle winds and waves ; 
Then first I heard a chosen embassy 
Of the angelic sanctities and powers 
(Myself the twelfth) was order'd to descend 
And traverse hell in all its length and breadth, 
Announcing to the prisoners of wrath 780 

The nearer advent of the day of doom. 
Immediately, for angels never pause 
To ask the wherefore of Divine behests, 
Nor question their own aptitude whom God 
Has summoned as His aptest messengers, 
We, on the wings of morning light, obey'd 
And went. Swiftly, harmoniously we flew, 
And each the other cheer'd with sweet converse 
Of the Lamb's Bridal now at hand ; but soon, 
At hell's inexorable gates arrived, 790 

Our several and predestined pathways took 
Through diverse fields of gloom and fiery woe, 
Ordaining, when our dark sojourn was o'er, 

h 2 



100 



THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 



[book 



To meet at last in that profoundest depth 
Where rebel angels are immured in walls 
Of darkness nearest to Gehenna's lake. 

" First to that mountain valley, where I left 
Lost Theodore, I bent my course. O God ! 
The solemn change which fifteen centuries 
In hell had written on his fearful brow. 800 

Unchanged in form, unchanged in hopelessness, 
The same immortal heir of endless wrath, 
But now the restlessness of agony, 
The writhing of the miserable spirit 
Under the first experience of despair, 
Was scarcely visible. Subdued he sate 
Apart, crushed, conscience-stricken, almost calm ; 
Oft gazing on that distant Paradise, 
Which still appeared within his vision's ken 
And cast its reflex light upon his ruin, 8)0 

But waken'd now no hope. He marked my flight ; 
He heard my footstep in the vale ; he rose 
In reverence : and, when he knew me, spake 
In accents so chastised, they touched me more 
Than loudest wailings or incessant tears. 



" ' O holy angel, is it thou ? What brings 
Thee to this dreadful prison-house again ? 
I had not thought to see thee till I stood 
Before the judgment-throne. But I have learned 
Much since I saw thee last. My little span 



820 






III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 101 

Of mortal life, inured and stereotyped, 

Is branded on the tablet of my soul 

Each year, each month, each week, each day, each hour. 

As drowning men have lived their bygone life 

Again in one brief minute, so to me, 

Each minute of these ages without end, 

My past is always present. Now I see 

Myself. 'Twas not apostasy alone 

Damn'd me : this seaPd my ruin : but my life 

Was one rebellion, one ingratitude. 830 

God would, but could not save me 'gainst my will, 

Moved, drawn, besought, persuaded, striven with, 

But yet inviolate, or else no will, 

And I no man — for man by birth is free. 

Angel, He would, I would not. Further space 

Would but have loaded me with deeper guilt. 

Yea, now I fear that if the Eye of flame 

Which rests upon me everlastingly 

Softened its terrors, sin would yet revive 

In me and bear again disastrous fruit, 840 

And this entail more torturing remorse. 

Better enforced subjection. I have ceased 

Or almost ceased to struggle' against the Hand 

That made me. For I madly chose to die : 

I sold my immortality for death : 

And death, eternal distance from His love, 

Eternal nearness to His righteous wrath, 

Death now is my immortal recompense. 

I know it, I confess it, I submit. 



102 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

But oh ! the boding dread that I ere long 850 

Must re-assume the flesh in which I sinnM, 
And naked stand before the judgment-throne/ 

u He ceased, and I replied : c My mission is 
To tell thee that the time is short 
Before the dawning of that day of God, 
Its Advent sunrise, its millennial sphere, 
Its evening-tide of heaven and earth's assize. 
I may not linger : for my journey tends 
Throughout these desolate confines of woe 
To hell's remotest verge ; but first to thee S60 

(Thee only of the lost, my ward) I come 
Permitted to advise thee this. If here 
The Uncreated Light, part seen, part veiPd, 
Hath wrung this last confession from thy lips 
That thy subordination, though compelled, 
Is better in its everlasting chains 

Than dissolute freedom and unbridled guilt, 

Will not its veilless and meridian blaze 

(However terrible the fire that burns 

The ineradicable germs of sin sro 

For ever and for ever in thy soul, 

Repressing their fertility with flame) 

Be good, not evil ? yea, the highest good 

Thy guilt has rendered possible ? It will : 

For God Himself has sworn that every knee, 

Not only of the things in heaven and earth 

But of the regions under earth in hell. 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 103 

Shall bow beneath the sceptre of His Son, 
And, willing or constrained, confess Him Lord/ 

" Nor paused I for an answer, but pursued 880 

My way along that valley of the dead, 
Only one valley of a myriad like, 
But yet so vast, that, though its habitants 
Were more than many a thronged metropolis, 
Scattered throughout its solitudes they seem'd, 
Where'er I trod, but few and far betwixt 
And seldom grouped in converse. Every one 
Had his own chastisement to bear ; on each 
And every one the Eye of God was fix'd ; 
On every one the Hand of God was pressed. 890 

And for the most part Silence reign'd : few sighs 
Were heard, or groans, or mutterings of remorse, 
And chiefly these among the last arrived, 
Who, when they knew themselves for ever lost, 
Wept and bewaiPd their ruin, till, their tears 
And bitter outcries bringing no relief, 
They, like their fellows, sank upon the ground, 
Or wandered to and fro in mute despair. 
Most, peradventure, chose to be alone 
From that sheer misery, which could not brook 900 

Another convict's eye to read their woe. 
But yet it was not always thus : at times 
They met, and fearfully exchanged their pangs 
And drear forebodings, which, from words I caught, 
Centred on judgment and eternity. 



104? THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

u Lost souls of every type were there : and yet 
The hell of one was not another's hell. 
Nor needed separate prisons to adjust 
The righteous meed of punishment to each. 
As they had sinned, they suffered; for the flame 910 

Of perfect righteousness abode on them, 
God's righteousness on their unrighteousness. 
Distinct, discriminate, distributive, 
More tolerant of guilty ignorance 
Than of intolerable guilty pride, 
Restraining that which chafed against restraint, 
Abhorring most the most abhorrent deeds, 
Lighter on some, on others more intense ; 
Severest on the guiltiest, but to all 
An earnest of the final lake of fire. 920 



" Some I beheld, who from the gayest haunts 
Of fashion's revelries and pageantries 
Were summon'd by the icy hand of death, 
Blithe men, fair women, and, most piteous sight, 
Children in years but not in wickedness : 
And some, who fell asleep in sinks of vice, 
Amid the orgies of their drunkenness 
Breathing out curses in a harlot's ear, 
And wakened, unawares, amazed, to find 
Damnation, oft invoked, at last their own. 930 

" I pass'd where two were standing side by side, 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 105 

A princess, who had floated on through life 

Wrapt in the perfumed incense-cloud of praise, 

And a poor beggar's fallen child. They both 

Had lived the living death of godless mirth ; 

Though variously in marble palaces 

And wretched hovels mattered little here : 

One hour had made them comrades ; one despair 

Was written on their face ; one sympathy 

Drew them together ; while in speechless woe 940 

Each wrung convulsively her sister's hand. 

" But heavier far their chastisement who drew 
Their fellows to perdition from their greed 
Of mammon, or from fleshly appetite. 
In them the horrible antagonism 
Betwixt the pure of God and their impure, — 
His good, their ill, — His ruth, their cruelty, — 
His heavenly love, and their most hellish lust, — 
Bred an insufferable anguish words 

May never picture, nor the heart of saint 950 

Or any saintly'' intelligence conceive. 

" And there were hypocrites unmasked and stripped ; 
And haughty Pharisaic dignities 
Low in the dust ; and liars taught too late 
To utter agonizing words of truth ; 
And gamblers, who had staked their soul and lost ; 
And perjurers compel Yd at last to dread 



106 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

God's oath ; manslayers, convict or escaped, 

Confessing Hades had no shade secure 

From blood's avenging cry ; and not a few 960 

Diviners, necromancers, sorcerers, 

Who once sought lawless commerce with the dead, 

Now numbered with the damned dead themselves ; 

And learned infidels, who proved a God 

At least among improbabilities, 

Aghast for ever underneath His frown. 



" All these, and many more in that vast glen, 
As I pursued my embassage, I saw, 
And could narrate their names ; but better far 
Buried in silence and oblivion's grave 970 

Until the day of doom. They heard my voice ; 
And countless as they were, so manifold 
The tokens of their anguish or dismay, 
When I proclaimed the nearer dawn at hand : 
Tears, tremblings, pallor which became more pale, 
Moans, or more terrible than moans, the gaze 
Of agony suppressed, heart-rending sighs 
Or wailings of remorseless memory, 
Or darker lourings of malign despite 
Crushed in a moment by the penal fire, 9^o 

But each in his own way betokening 
His terror of the unknown wrath to come. 

" They miss the truth who meditate that death, 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 107 

Or that which follows after death, can change 

The native idealities of men. 

These in the saved and lost alike remain 

Immutable for ever. There is nought 

In the unloosing of the mortal tent 

To alter or transform immortal minds. 

The gentle still are gentle, and the strong 990 

Are ever strong. Innumerable traits 

Each from the rest distinguish. It is true 

There lies a gulf impassable betwixt 

Salvation and perdition, heaven and hell ; 

But oh ! the almost infinite degrees 

Betwixt the lost and lost. 

" All this I saw 
In that one desolate valley of the dead, 
And then to other hills and rocks and plains 
Of that dark world I passed. Nor boots it now 
That I to thee, unwilling both, relate 1000 

The progress of my terrible sojourn 
In those drear regions. God was with me there, 
Or my celestial pinions would have droop'd 
Unequal by my side. But in His strength 
I traversed all the provinces assigned 
To my celestial mission, nor surceased 
My flight till every habitant therein 
Heard from my lips (and none who heard gainsay'd) 
Messiah's nearer Advent, and that soon 
They might expect to see the Arch-fiend led 1010 



108 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. 

In chains to his millennial prison-house, 
A presage of his everlasting doom. 



[book 



" Vast were the realms I trod, and to my eye 
No bound apparent : but from clime to clime 
Not many hours, as men count hours, elapsed 
Without some ruined soul arriving thither 
And swelling the dark aggregate of woe. 
And then perchance there was a transient pause, 
A momentary break : but soon the rest, 
Their own cup full of misery, sank back 1020 

In personal despair. It was but once, 
And then for a brief space, I saw the dead 
Stirred with profounder feeling. I was there, 
What time a mighty conqueror came down 
To limitless captivity. He came, 
Aforetime wont to lead his armies forth 
The god of pride, incarnate selfishness, 
The nations trembling at his iron rod, 
And tributary monarchs in his suite, 
Now guided only by a stripling cherub, 1030 

Yet in whose hand that vanquished victor's might 
Were less than nothing. For a little while 
His fall was theme of converse with the dead, 
But soon the voices sank ; and hell resumed 
Its dread monotony of crushing calm. 

u Terrestrial years passed by, as thus I trod 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. lOfl 

These regions, but my Captain's charge fulfilled, 

I came at last to that profound abyss 

Wrapt in a tenfold gloom of darkening wrath; 

Nearest Gehenna's lake, which first I saw 1040 

When with a band of seraphim in arms, 

I bore the captive angels, Samchasai 

And Uziel, fallen potentates of heaven, 

In chains, themselves and their rebellious hosts, 

To their eternal banishment. Since then 

Four great millennial days had come and gone, 

But there they lay immured in darkness, link'd 

With adamantine manacles to rocks 

Of adamant : and with them other spirits 

Who, having fill'd their cup of wickedness 1050 

Before the time, before the time were hurFd 

To this dark dungeon. Such were those who sought 

With suicidal prayer, Legion their name, 

Driven from the human heart, their chosen seat, 

To herd with swine ; and, their demand vouchsafed, 

Rush'd headlong, they and all their bestial throng — 

These into ocean depths and those to hell. 

Nor were they solitary in their doom : 

For think not He whose vengeance flashes forth 

Upon the sons of men, and unawares 10G0 

Strikes down the sinner in his hour of pride, — 

Think not He leaves the fallen hosts unwarn'd 

By dread ensamples of His wrath, though such 

No warning moves and no ensample' avails 



110 THE PRISON OF THE LOST. [BOOK 

To turn from final death. Yet once they stood 

Pure spirits before the sapphire throne in heaven, 

And many I knew in that their first estate, 

And with them I had walked the golden streets, 

And pluck'd the vintage of celestial grapes, 

And tuned my harp in unison with theirs. 1070 

But now, behold them — every 7 lineament 

Dimmed with despair and utter agony. 

For, as their guilt was deeper, fiercer wrath 

Alone their unrepentant nature curbed 

From words and deeds of devilish violence. 

That wrath was there. And of despite was heard 

No whisper, nor a thought of open war 

Expressed, nor breathed a breath of blasphemy. 

" But them already advertised I found 
By heaven's angelic principalities ioso 

Of our great errand. So, our mission o'er, 
Back from that bottomless abyss we turned, 
And through hell's desolate champaigns arose, 
Its iron portals, and its dark access ; 
And when, with footsteps nothing loth, we trod 
The confines of most blessed light again, 
Our Captain, as Melchisedec of old 
Met Abraham with mystic bread and wine, 
Himself came forth to meet us bearing fruit 
Himself had pluck'd from heaven's ambrosial trees, 1090 
And with His benediction wrote on all 



III.] THE PRISON OF THE LOST. Ill 

The large experience of those years of gloom, 
The rainbow of His clear approving smile." 

So Oriel spake, and ceased : and as he ceased 
I felt his tears were falling on my hand. 



END OF THE THIRD BOOK. 



112 



BOOK IV. 

THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 

O tears, ye rivulets that flow profuse 

Forth from the fountains of perennial love, 

Love, sympathy, and sorrow, those pure springs 

Welling in secret up from lower depths 

Than couch beneath the everlasting hills : 

Ye showers that from the cloud of mercy fall 

In drops of tender grief, — you I invoke, 

For in your gentleness there lies a spell 

Mightier than arms or bolted chains of iron. 

When floating by the reedy banks of Nile 1 o 

A babe of more than human beauty wept, 

Were not the innocent dews upon its cheeks 

A link in God's great counsels ? Who knows not 

The loves of David and young Jonathan, 

When in unwitting rivalry of hearts 

The son of Jesse won a nobler wreath 

Than garlands pluck'd in war and dipped in blood ? 

And haply she, who washed her Saviour's feet 

With the soft silent rain of penitence, 



THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 113 

And wiped them with her tangled tresses, gave 20 

A costlier sacrifice than Solomon, 

What time he slew myriads of sheep and kine, 

And poured upon the brazen altar forth 

Rivers of fragrant oil. In Peter's woe, 

Bitterly weeping in the darkened street, 

Love veils his fall. The traitor shed no tear. 

But Magdalene's gushing grief is fresh 

In memory of us all, as when it drenched 

The cold stone of the sepulchre. Paul wept, 

And by the droppings of his heart subdued 30 

Strong men by all his massive arguments 

Unvanquish'd. And the loved Evangelist 

Wept, though in heaven, that none in heaven were found 

Worthy to loose the Apocalyptic seals. 

No holy tear is lost. None idly sinks 

As water in the barren sand : for God, 

Let David witness, puts His children's tears 

Into His cruse and writes them in His book ; — 

David, that sweetest lyrist, not the less 

Sweet that his plaintive pleading tones ofttimes 40 

Are tremulous with grief. For he and all 

God's nightingales have ever learn'd to sing, 

Pressing their bosom on some secret thorn. 

In the world's morning it was thus : and, since 

The evening shadows fell athwart mankind, 

Thus hath it always been. Blind and bereft, 

The minstrel of an Eden lost explored 

Things all invisible to mortal eyes. 

1 



114 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

And he, who touched with a true poet's hand 

The harp of prophecy, himself had learned 50 

Its music in the school of mourners. But 

Beyond all other sorrow stands enshrined 

The imperishable record — Jesus wept. 

He wept beside the grave of Lazarus ; 

He wept lamenting* lost Jerusalem ; 

He wept with agonizing groans beneath 

The olives of Gethsemane. O tears, 

For ever sacred, since in human grief 

The Man of sorrows mingled healing drops 

With the great ocean tides of human woe ; 60 

You I invoke to modulate my words 

And chasten my ambition, while I search, 

And by your aid with no unmoisten'd eye, 

The early archives of the birth of time. 

Yes, there are tears in heaven. Love ever breathes 
Compassion ; and compassion without tears 
Would lack its truest utterance : saints weep 
And angels : only there no bitterness 
Troubles the crystal spring. And when I felt, 
More solaced than surprised, my guardian's tears 70 

Falling upon my hand, my bosom yearn'd 
Towards him with a nearer brotherhood ; 
And, terrible as seem'd his beauty once, 
His terrors were less mighty than his tears. 
His heart was as my heart. He was in grief, 
No feigned sorrow. And instinctively — 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 115 

Love's instinct to console the one beloved — 

I answered, " Oriel, let it grieve thee not 

Thus to have told me of thy dark sojourn 

In yonder world of death. I thought before 80 

Of thee as dwelling ever in the light, 

And knowing only joy; but now I see 

We both have suffered ; sinless thou, and I 

Ransomed from sin ; for others only thou, 

I for myself and others ; — but yet links 

Betwixt us of a tender sympathy 

Eternity will rivet, not unloose. 

And now, albeit, had I nursed a hope 

For those unhappy prisoners of wrath, 

Thy words had quenched the latest spark, yet thou, 90 

While quenching hope, hast hopelessness illumed. 

Far visions throng my eye and fill my soul 

Of evil overcome by final good, 

And death itself absorbed in victory. 

But first I long to listen from thy lips 

The story of creation's birth, whene'er 

In the unclouded morning-tide of heaven 

Thou and thy holy peers beheld the light." 

And Oriel took my hand in his once more, 
And from the summit of that cliff we turn'd, 100 

And, with the ease of spirits, descending sought 
A lower platform, whence the mighty gulf 
Betwixt that shadowy land of death and ours 
Was hidden, but afar pre-eminent 
1 2 



116 THE CREATION OY ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Over the realms of Paradise. But soon 

A train of silver mists and airy clouds, 

Only less limpid than the light itself, 

Began to creep from every vale, where late 

Invisible they couch'd by fount and rill, 

Around us o'er the nearer hills, and hung 1 10 

Their lucid veils across the crystal sky, 

Not always, but by turns drawn and withdrawn 

In grateful interchange, so that awhile 

Bocks, mountains, valleys, woods, and glittering lakes, 

And those uncounted distances of blue 

Were mantled with their flowing draperies, 

And then awhile in radiant outline lay ; — 

Haply less lovely when unclothed than clothed 

With those transparent, half-transparent robes, 

But loveliest in alternate sheen and shade. 120 

I knew the token and was still : and there 

Upon a ledge of rock recline, we gazed 

Our fill of more than Eden's freshness, when 

The mists of God watered the virgin earth, 

And gazing drank the music of its calm, 

Silent ourselves for gladness. But at last, 

As if recalling his far-travelled thoughts, 

Not without deeper mellowness of tone, 

Oriel resumed his narrative and spake : 

" Yes, saidst thou truly, in the world of spirits, 1 30 
As in the early Paradise of man, 
Creation had its morning without clouds ; 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 117 

When first the bare illimitable void 

Throughout its everlasting silences 

Heard whispers of God's voice and trembled. Then, 

Passing from measureless eternity, 

In which the Highest dwelt Triune Alone, 

To measurable ages, Time began. 

And then, emerging out of nothingness, 

At God's behest commanding Let them be, j 40 

The rude raw elements of nature were : 

Viewless and without form at first. But soon 

God will'd, and breathed His will ; and lo, a sea 

Of subtle and elastic ether flow'd, 

Immense, imponderable, luminous, 

Which, while revealing other things, remains 

Itself invisible, impalpable, 

Pervading space. Thus Uncreated Light 

Created in the twinkling of an eye 

A tabernacle worthy of Himself, 1 50 

And saw that it was good, and dwelt therein. 

Then, moulded by the Word's almighty hand, 

And by the Spirit of life informed, the heaven 

With all its orbits, and the heaven of heavens 

Rose like a vision. There the throne supreme, 

Refulgent as if built of solid light, 

Where He, whom all the heavens cannot contain, 

Reveals His glory' incomprehensible, 

Was set upon the awful mount of God, 

The Heavenly Zion : over it above 160 

The empyrean of the universe ; 



118 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

And near it, or beneath it as it seem'd, 

That mystic chariot, paved with love, instinct 

Thereafter with the holy cherubim ; 

And round about it four and twenty thrones, 

Vacant as yet — not long. God, who is Spirit, 

Bade spirits exist, and they existed. Forms 

Of light, in infinite varieties, 

Though all partaking of that human type 

Which afterward the Son of God assumed 170 

(Angelical and human forms, thou seest, 

Are not so far diverse as mortals think) , 

Awoke in legions arm'd, or one by one 

Successively appeard. Succession there, 

In numbers passing thy arithmetic, 

Might be more rapid than my words, and yet 

Exhaust the flight of ages. There is space 

For ages in the boundless past. But each 

Came from the hand of God distinct, the fruit 

Of His eternal counsels, the design 180 

Of His omniscient love, His workmanship ; 

Each seraph, no angelic parentage 

Betwixt him and the Great Artificer, 

Born of the Spirit, and by the Word create. 

" Of these were three the foremost, Lucifer, 
Michael, and Gabriel : Lucifer, the first, 
Conspicuous as the star of morning shone, 
And held his lordly primacy supreme ; 
Though scarcely' inferior seem'd Michael the prince, 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 119 

Or Gabriel, God's swift winged messenger. ] 90 

And after these were holy Raphael ; 

Uriel, the son of light ; Barakiel, 

Impersonation of beatitude ; 

Great Ramiel, and Raamiel, mercy's child ; 

Dumah, and Lailah, and Yorekemo, 

And Suriel, blessed Suriel, who abides 

Mostly beside the footstool of God's throne, 

(As Mary sate one time at Jesus' feet,) 

His chosen inalienable heritage. 

Nor these alone, but myriad sanctities, 200 

Thrones, virtues, principalities, and powers, 

Over whose names and high estates of bliss 

I must not linger now, crown'd hierarchs ; 

And numbers without number under them 

In order ranged, — some girt with flaming swords, 

And others bearing golden harps, though all 

Heaven's choristers are militant at will, 

And all its martial ranks are priestly choirs. 

And, even as in yonder Paradise 

Thou sawest the multitudes of ransom'd babes 210 

And children gathered home of tenderest years, 

So with the presbytery of angels, those 

Who will appear to thee as infant spirits 

Or stripling cherubs, cluster round our steps, 

Each individual cherub born of God, 

Clouds of innumerable drops composed, 

Pure emanations of delight and love. 



120 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

" And yet, though only one of presbyters 
There reckoned by ten thousands, when I woke 
To consciousness, I found myself alone, 220 

So vast are heaven's felicitous abodes, 
As Adam found in Eden. Not a sound 
Greeted mine ear, except the tuneful flow 
Of waters rippling past a tree of life, 
Beneath whose shade on fragrant moss and flowers 
Dreaming I lay. Realities and dreams 
Were then confused as yonder clouds and rocks. 
But soon my Maker, the Eternal Word, 
Softening His glory, came to me, in form 
Not wholly' unlike my own : for He, who walked 230 
A man on earth among His fellow-men, 
Is wont, self-humbled, to reveal Himself 
An Angel among angels. And He said, — 
His words are vivid in my heart this hour 
As from His sacred lips at first they fell, — 
' Child of the light, let Oriel be thy name ; 
Whom I have made an image of Myself, 
That in the age of ages I may shower 
My love upon thee, and from thee receive 
Responsive love. I, unto whom thou owest 240 

Thy being, thy beauty, and immortal bliss, 
I claim thy free spontaneous fealty. 
Such it is thine to render or refuse. 
It may be in the veiFd futurity, 
VeiFd for thy good, another voice than Mine, 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 121 

Though Mine resembling, will solicit thee, 

When least suspicious of aught ill, to seek 

Apart from Me thy bliss. Then let these words 

Foreclose the path of danger. Then beware. 

Obedience is thy very life, and death 250 

Of disobedience the supreme award. 

Forewarned, forearmed resist. Obey and live. 

But only in My love abide, and heaven 

(So call the beautiful world around thee spread) 

Shall be thy home for ever, and shall yield 

Thee choicest fruits of immortality ; 

And thou shalt drink of every spring of joy, 

And with the lapse of endless ages grow 

In knowledge of My Father and Myself, 

Ever more loving, ever more beloved/ 2(3o 

" Speaking, He gazed on me, and gazing seaPd 
Me with the impress of His countenance, 
(Brother, I read the same upon thy brow,) 
Until such close affinity of being 
Enchained me, that the beauty' of holiness 
Appeared unutterably necessary, 
And by its very nature part of me. 
I loved Him for His love ; and from that hour 
My life began to circle round His life, 
As planets round the sun, — His will my law, 270 

His mysteries of counsel my research, 
And His approving smile my rich reward. 



122 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

" Then whispering, € Follow Me/ He led me forth 
By paths celestial through celestial scenes 
(Of which the Paradise beneath our feet, 
Though but the outer precincts of His courts, 
Is pledge) , each prospect lovelier than the last, 
Until before my raptured eye there rose 
The Heavenly Zion. 

" Terribly sublime 
It rose. The mountains at its base, albeit 280 

Loftier than lonely Ararat, appeared 
But footsteps to a monarch's throne. The top 
Was often lost in clouds— clouds all impregn'd 
With light and girdled with a rainbow arch 
Of opal and of emerald. For there, 
Not as on Sinai with thick flashing flames, 
But veiling His essential majesty 
In robes of glory woven by Himself, 
He dwells whose dwelling is the universe 
Of all things, and whose full-orb'd countenance 290 

The Son alone sustains. But at His will 
(So was it now) the clouds withdrawn disclosed 
That portion of His glory, which might best 
Fill all His saints with joy past utterance. 
There were the cherubim instinct with eyes ; 
And there the crowned elders on their thrones, 
Encircling with a belt of starry light 
The everlasting throne of God ; and round, 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 123 

Wave after wave, myriads of flaming ones 

From mightiest potentates and mid degrees 300 

Unto the least of the angelic choirs. 

Myself, nor of the first nor of the last 

I saw ; but mingling with them was received 

By some with tender condescending love, 

By others with the grateful homage due 

To their superior. Envy was unknown 

In that society. But through their ranks 

Delightful and delighting whispers ran, 

' Another brother is arrived to share 

And multiply our gladness without end/ 310 

Meanwhile, as I was answering love with love, 

My Guide was not, and in that countless throng 

I felt alone, till clustering round my steps, 

With loud Hosannas and exuberant joy, 

They led me to the footstool of the throne, 

And there upon His Father's right He sate, 

Without whom heaven had been no heaven to me, 

Effulgent Image of the Invisible, 

Co-equal, co-eternal God of God. 

" That day was one of thousands not unlike 320 

Of holy convocation, when the saints 
(This was our earliest name, God's holy ones) 
From diverse fields of service far and near, 
What time the archangel's trumpet rang through heaven, 
Flock'd to the height of Zion — archetypes 
Of Salem's festivals in after years. 



124 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

And ever, as these high assemblies met. 

New counsels were disclosed of love Divine, 

New revelations of our Father's face, 

New proofs of His creative handiwork, 330 

Presentments at the throne of new-born spirits, 

Wakening new raptures and new praise in us 

The elder born. No discord then in heaven. 

u So passed continuous ages ; till at last, 
* The cycles of millennial days complete, 
Mark'd by sidereal orbits, seven times seven, 
By circuits inexpressible to man, 
Revolving, a Sabbatic jubilee 
Dawn'd on creation. Usher'd in with songs 
And blowing of melodious trumps, and voice 340 

Of countless harpers harping on their harps, 
That morning, long foretold in prophecy 
(Heaven has, as earth, its scrolls prophetic, sketched 
In word or symbol by the Prescient Spirit), 
Broke in unclouded glory. Hitherto 
No evil had appeared to cast its shade 
Over the splendours of perpetual light, 
Nor then appeared, though to the Omniscient Eye, 
Which only reads the mysteries of thought 
And can detect the blossom in the bulb, 350 

All was not pure which pure and perfect seem\l. 
But we presaged no tempest. We had lived. 
Save for the warning each at birth received, 
As children live in blissful ignorance 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OP MEN. 125 

Of future griefs : nor even Michael guess'd, 
So hath he often told me, what that day 
Disclosed of war and final victory. 

" Such was the childhood of angelic life. 
Such might not, could not always be. And when, 
Ranged in innumerable phalanxes, 36o 

We stood or knelt around the sapphire throne, 
The Word, the Angel of God's Presence, rose 
From the right hand of glory, where He sate 
Enshrined, embosomed in the light of light, 
And gazing round with majesty Divine, — 
Complacent rest in us His finished work, 
His perfected creation, not unmixed 
With irrepressible concern of love, — 
Thus spake in accents audible to all : 

" ' Children of light, My children, whom My hand 370 
Hath made, and into whom My quickening Spirit 
Hath breathed an immortality of life, 
My Father's pleasure is fulfilled, nor now 
Of His predestinated hosts remains 
One seraph uncreated. It is done. 
Thrones, virtues, principalities, and powers, 
Not equal, but dependent each on each, 
O'er thousands and ten thousands president : 
No link is wanting in the golden chain. 
None lacks his fellow, none his bosom friends, 380 

No bosom friends their fit society. 



126 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

And no society its sphere assigned 

In the great firmament of morning stars. 

The brotherhood of angels is complete. 

And now, My labour finished, I declare 

Jehovah's irreversible decree, 

With whom from Our eternal Yesterday, 

Before creation's subtlest film appear'd, 

I dwelt in light immutably the same, 

Which saith to Me, u Thou art My Only Son, 390 

From all eternity alone Beloved, 

Alone Begotten : Thee I now ordain 

Lord of To-day, the great To-day of Time, 

And Heir of all things in the world to come. 

Who serve the Son, they too the Father serve ; 

And Thee, My Son, contemning, Me contemn. 

My majesty is Thine : Thy word is Mine. 

And now, in pledge of this My sovereign will, 

Before heaven's peers on this high jubilee 

I pour upon Thee without measure forth 400 

The unction of My Everlasting Spirit, 

And crown Thee with the crown of endless joy."' 

" So spake the Son ; and, as He spake, a cloud 
Of fragrance, such as heaven had never known, 
Rested upon His Head, and soon distill'd 
In odours inexpressibly sublimed 
Dewdrops of golden balm, which flowM adown 
His garments to their lowest skirts, and fill'd 
The vast of heaven with new ambrosial life. 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 127 

And for a while, it seemed a little while. 410 

But joy soon fails in measurement of time, 

We knelt before His footstool, none except, 

And from the fountain-head of blessing drank 

Beatitude past utterance. But then, 

Rising once more, the crowned Messiah spake : 

M c My children, ye have heard the high decree 
Of Him, whose word is settled in the heavens, 
Irrevocable ; and your eyes have seen 
The symbol of His pleasure, that I rule 
Supreme for ever o'er His faithful hosts, 420 

Or faithless enemies, if such arise : 
And rise they will. Already I behold 
The giant toils of pride enveloping 
The hearts of many : questionings of good, 
Not evil in themselves, but which, sustained 
And parleyed with apart from Me, w-ill lead 
To evil ; thoughts of licence not indulged, 
Nor yet recoiPd from ; and defect of power, 
Inseparable from your finite being, 

Soliciting so urgently your will 430 

(Free, therefore not infallible) to range 
Through other possibilities of things 
Than those large realms conceded to your ken, 
That if ye yield, and ye cannot but yield 
Without My mighty aid betimes implored, 
From their disastrous wedlock will be born 



128 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

That fertile monster, Sin. Oh yet be wise ! 

My children, ere it be too late, be warned ! 

The pathway of obedience and of life 

Is one and narrow and of steep ascent, 440 

But leads to limitless felicity. 

Not so the tracks of disobedience stretch 

On all sides, open, downward, to the Deep 

Which underlies the kingdom of My love. 

Good, evil ; life and death : here is your choice. 

From this great trial of your fealty, 

This shadow of all limited free will, 

It is not Mine, albeit Omnipotent, 

To save you. Ye yourselves must choose to live. 

But only supplicate My ready aid, 450 

And My Good Spirit within you will repel 

Temptation from the threshold of your heart 

Unscathed, or if conversed with heretofore 

Will soon disperse the transitory film, 

And fortify your soul with new resolve/ 

" He spake, and from the ranks a seraph stepped, 
One of heaven's brightest sanctities esteemed, 
Nought heeding underneath the eye of God 
Ten thousand times ten thousand eyes of those 
Who gazed in marvel, Penuel his name, 4 60 

And knelt before Messiah's feet. What passed 
We knew not : only this we knew ; then first 
Tears fell upon that floor of crystal gold — 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. L29 

Not long — a smile of reconcilement chased 
Impending clouds, and that archangel's brow 
Shone with the calm response of perfect love. 

" Sole penitent he knelt, — if penitence 
Be the due name for evil, not in deed, 
But only in surmise. And for a space 
Unwonted silence reigned in heaven, until 470 

The Son of God a third time rose and spake : 

" ' Angels, from conflict I have said no power 
Avails to save you : here Omnipotence, 
Which made and guards from force your freeborn will, 
And never can deny itself, seems weak, 
Seems only, — hidden in profounder depths. 
But rather than temptation were diffused 
Through boundless space and ages without end, 
I have defined and circumscribed the strife 
In narrowest limits both of place and time. 480 

Ye know the planet, by yourselves called Earth, 
Which in alternate tempest and repose 
Has rolPd for ages round its central sun, 
And often have ye wondered what might be 
My secret counsel as regards that globe, 
The scene of such perplexed vicissitudes, 
In turn the birthplace and the tomb of life, 
Life slowly' unfolding from its lowest forms. 
Now wrapt in swathing-bands of thickest clouds 
Bred of volcanic fires, eruptions fierce 490 



130 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

And seething oceans, on its path it rolls 

In darkness, waiting for its lord and heir. 

Hear, then, My word : this is the destined field, 

Whereon both good and evil, self-impell'd, 

Shall manifest the utmost each can do 

To overwhelm its great antagonist. 

There will I shower the riches of My grace 

First to prevent, and, if prevention fail, 

To conquer sin — eternal victory. 

And there Mine enemies will wreak their worst : 500 

Their worst will prove unequal in that war 

To conquer My unconquerable love. 

But why, ye thrones and potentates of heaven, 

Say why should any amongst you, why should one 

Attempt the suicidal strife ? What more 

Could have been done I have not done for you ? 

Have I not made you excellent in power, 

Swift as the winds and subtle as the light, 

Perfect and God-like in intelligence ? 

What more is possible ? But one thing more, 5 J o 

And I have kept back nothing I can do 

If yet I may anticipate your fall. 

Such glory have I poured upon your form 

And made you thus in likeness of Myself, 

That from your peerless excellence there springs 

Temptation, lest the distance infinite 

Betwixt the creature and the Increate 

Be hidden from your eyes. For who of spirits, 

First born or last, has seen his birth, or knows 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 131 

The secrets of his own nativity ? 520 

Nor were ye with Me, when My Father wilPd, 
And at My word the heavens obedient rose. 
Come, then, with Me, your Maker, and behold 
The making of a world. Nor this alone : 
But I, working before your eyes, will take 
Of earth's material dust, and mould its clay 
Into My image, and imbreathe therein 
The breath of life, and by My Spirit Divine 
Implanting mind, choice, conscience, reason, love, 
Will form a being, who in power and light, 530 

May seem a little lower than yourselves 
(Yourselves whose very glory tempts to pride), 
But capable of loftiest destinies. 
This being shall be man. Made of the dust, 
And thus allied to all material worlds, 
Born of the Spirit, and thus allied to God, 
He during his probation's term shall walk 
His mother earth, unfledged to range the sky, 
But, if found faithful, shall at length ascend 
The highest heavens and share My home and yours. 540 
Nor shall his race, like angels, be defined 
In numbers, but expansive without end 
Shall propagate itself by diverse sex, 
And in its countless generations form 
An image of Divine infinitude. 
As younger, ye their elder brethren stand : 
As feebler, ye their ministers. Nor deem 
That thus your glory shall be less, but more ; 
k 2 



132 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

For glory* and love inseparably grow. 

Only, ye firstborn sons of heaven, be true, 550 

True to yourselves and true to Me, your Lord ; 

For as mankind must have a pledge proposed 

(And without pledge the trial were the same) 

Of their obedience, so mankind themselves 

Are pledge and proof of yours. Only be true ; 

And the pure crystal river of My love 

Widening shall flow with unimpeded course, 

And water the whole universe with life/ 

" So spake Messiah \ and His words awoke 
Deep searchings, Is it I ? in countless hearts, 560 

Hearts pure from sin and strong in self-distrust : 
Nor holy fear alone, but strenuous prayer 
For strength and wisdom and effectual aid 
In the stern war foretold. And heaven that hour 
New worship and unparalleled beheld, 
Self-humbled cherubim and seraphim, 
And prostrate principalities and thrones, 
And flaming legions, who on bended knees 
Besought their fealty might never fail, 
Never so great as when they lowliest seemed. 5T0 

Would all had prayed ! But prayer to some appeared 
A sign of weakness unconceived : to some 
Confession of an unsuspected pride : 
And haply some rising ambition moved 
To strive against the Spirit who strove with all 
In mercy, forcing none, persuading most. 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 133 

Yes, most yielded submiss. And soon from prayer 

To solemn adoration we uprose, 

And all the firmament of Zion rang 

With new Hosannas unto Him who saw 580 

The gathering storm and warned us ere it broke. 

New thoughts of high and generous courage stirrM 

In every loyal breast, and new resolves 

To do and suffer all things for our Lord. 

On which great themes conversing, friend with friend, 

Or solitary with the King Himself, 

That memorable Sabbath passed, a day, 

Though one day there is as a thousand years, 

Fraught with eternal destinies to all. 

" Now dawned another morning-tide in heaven, 590 
The morning of another age, and lo, 
Forth from the height of Zion, where He sate 
Throned in His glory inaccessible, 
The Son of God, robed in a radiant cloud, 
And circled by His angel hosts, came down, 
Descending from that pure crystalline sphere 
Into the starry firmament. Not then 
For the first time or second I beheld 
Those marvels of His handiwork, those lamps 
Suspended in His temple's azure dome, 600 

And kindled by the Great High Priest Himself; 
For through them I had often wing'd my flight. 
But never saw I till that hour such blaze 
Of glory : whether now the liquid sky 



134 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Did homage to its present Lord, or He 

Our eyes anointed with peculiar power : 

For to the farthest wall of heaven, where light 

Trends on the outer gloom, with ease we scanned 

The maze of constellations : central suns 

Attended by their planets ministrant, 610 

These by their moons attended ; groups of worlds ; 

Garlands of stars, like sapphires loosely strung ; 

Festoons of golden orbs, nor golden all, 

Some pearls, and rubies some, some emerald green, 

And others shedding hyacinthine light 

Far over the empurpled sky : but all 

Moving with such smooth harmony, though mute, 

Around some secret centre pendulous, 

That in their very silence music breathed, 

And in their motions none could choose but rest. 620 

" Through these with gently undulating course ♦ 

Messiah and His armies passed, until 
They reached the confines of thy native orb, 
The battle-field of Good and Evil, Earth. 

" Wrapt in impervious mists, w^hich ever steam 'd 
Up from its boiling oceans, without form 
And void, it rolPd around the sun, which cast 
Strange lurid lights on the revolving mass, 
But pierced not to the solid globe beneath. 
Such vast eruption of internal fires 630 

Had mingled sea and land. This not the first 



IV.J THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 135 

Convulsion which that fated orb had known, 

The while through immemorial ages God, 

In patience of His own eternity, 

Laid deep its firm foundations. When He spake 

In the beginning, and His word stood fast, 

An incandescent mass, molten and crude, 

Arose from the primordial elements, 

With gaseous vapours circumfused, and rolled 

Along its fiery orbit : till in lapse 640 

Of time an ever thickening hardening crust 

(So have I heard) upon its lava waves 

Gathered condense : a globe of granite rock, 

Bleak, barren, utterly devoid of life, 

Mantled on all sides with its swaddling-bands 

Of seas and clouds : impenetrably dark, 

Until the fiat of the Omnipotent 

Went forth. And, slowly dawning from the East, 

A cold grey twilight cast a pallid gleam 

Over those vaporous floods, and days and nights, G50 

All sunless days, all moonless starless nights, 

For ages journeyed toward the western heavens : — 

Unbroken circuits, till the central fires 

Brake forth anew, emitting sulphurous heat. 

And then at God's command a wide expanse 

Severed the waters of those shoreless floods 

From billowy clouds above ; — an upper sea 

Of waters o'er that limpid firmament 

Rolling for cycles undefined, the while 

God's leisure tarried. Then again He wilPd, 60o 



136 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

And lo, the bursting subterranean fires 

Thrust from below vast continents of land 

With deeper hollows yawning wide betwixt 

Capacious, into which the troubled tides 

Poured with impetuous rage, and fretting broke, 

Returning with their ceaseless ebb and flow, 

On many a sandy beach and shingly shore. 

But soon, wherever the dank atmosphere 

Kissed with its warm and sultry breath the soil, 

Innumerable ferns and mosses clothed 670 

The marshy plains, and endless forests waved, 

Pine-trees and palms on every rising slope, 

Gigantic reeds by every oozy stream, 

Rank and luxuriant under cloudy skies, 

Fed by the steaming vapours, race on race 

Fattening, as generations throve and sank. 

Their work was done ; and at the Almighty's word 

Earth shuddered with convulsive throes again, 

And hid their gathered riches in her folds 

For after use. But now a brighter light 680 

Flushes the East : the winds are all abroad : 

The cloud-drifts scud across the sky ; and lo, 

Emerging like a bridegroom from his couch, 

The lordly sun looks forth, and heaven and earth 

Rejoice before him : till his bashful queen, 

When the night shadows creep across the world, 

Half peering through a veil of silver mists, 

Discloses the pale beauty of her brow, 

Attended by a glittering retinue 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 137 

Of stars. Again long ages glided by, 690 

While Earth throughout her farthest climes imbibed 
The influences of heaven. 

" Not yet the end. 
For not for lifeless rocks, or pure expanse 
Of the pellucid firmament, or growth 
Of ferns or flowers or forests, or the smile 
Of sun or moon far shining through the heavens 
Was that fair globe created ; but for life, 
A destined nursery of life, the home, 
When death is vanquished, of immortal life. 
But there is no precipitance with God, 700 

Nor are His ways as ours. And living things, 
When His next mandate from on high was given, 
Innumerous, but unintelligent, 
Swarm'd from the seas and lakes and torrent floods, 
Reptiles and lizards, and enormous birds 
Which first with oaring wing assayed the sky : 
Vast tribes that for successive ages there 
Appeared and disappeared. They had no king : 
And muto creation mourned its want ; until 
Destruction wrapt that world of vanity. 710 

But from its wreck emerging, mammoth beasts 
Peopled the plains, and filled the lonely woods. 
But they too had no king, no lord, no head ; 
And Earth was not for them. So when their term 
In God's great counsels was fulfilled, once more 
Earth to its centre shook, and what were seas 



138 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Unsounded were of half their waters drained, 

And what were wildernesses ocean "beds; 

And mountain ranges, from beneath upheaved, 

Clave with their granite peaks primeval plains, 720 

And rose sublime into the water-floods, 

Floods overflowed themselves with seas of mist, 

Which swathed in darkness all terrestrial things, 

Once more unfurnished, empty, void, and vast. 

" Such and so formless was thy native earth, 
Brother, what time our heavenly hosts arrived 
Upon its outmost firmament ; nor found 
A spot whereon angelic foot might rest, 
Though some with facile wing from pole to pole 730 

Swift as the lightning flew, and others traced 
From East to West the equidistant belt. 
Such universal chaos reigned without ; 
Within, the embryo of a world. 

" For now 
Messiah, riding on the heavens serene, 
Sent forth His Omnipresent Spirit to brood 
Over the troubled deep, and spake aloud, 
1 Let there be light/ and straightway at His Word, 
The work of ages into hours compressed, 
Light pierced that canopy of surging clouds, 74 o 

And shot its penetrative influence through 
Their masses undispersed, until the waves 
Couching beneath them felt its vital power. 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 139 

And the Creator saw the light was good : 
Thus evening now and morning were one day. 

u The morrow came ; and without interlude 
Of labour, ' Let there be a firmament/ 
God said, i amid the waters to divide 
The nether oceans from the upper seas 
Of watery mists and clouds/ And so it was. 750 

Immediate an elastic atmosphere 
Circled the globe, source inexhaustible 
Of vital breath for every thing that breathes : 
And even and morning were a second day. 

u But now again God spake, and said, c Let all 
The waters under heaven assembling flow 
Together, and the solid land appear/ 
And it was so. And thus were types prepared 
For generations yet unborn of things 
Invisible : that airy firmament, 76o 

Symbolic of the heaven and heaven of heavens ; 
The earth a theatre, where life with death 
Should wage incessant warfare militant ; 
And those deep oceans, emblems of a depth 
Profounder still, — the under- world of spirits. 
But now before our eyes delighted broke 
A sudden verdure over hill and dale, 
Grasses and herbs and trees of every sort, 
Each leaflet by an Architect Divine 
Designed and finished : proof, if proof be sought, 770 



140 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Of goodness in all climes present at once 

Untiring, unexhausted, infinite : 

Thus evening was and morning a third day. 

" And then again Messiah spoke, and lo, 
The clouds empurpled, flushed, incarnadined, 
Melted in fairy wreaths before the sun, 
Who climbing the meridian steep of heaven, 
Shone with a monarch's glory, till he dipped 
His footstep in the ruddy western waves, 
And with the streaming of his golden hair 780 

Startled the twilight. But as evening drew 
Her placid veil o'er all things, the pale moon 
Right opposite ascending from the East, 
By troops of virgin stars accompanied, 
Arcturus and the sweet-voiced Pleiades, 
Lordly Orion, and great Mazzaroth, 
Footing with dainty step the milky way, 
Assumed her ebon throne, empress of night. 

" But now the fourth day closed. And at God's word 
The waters teem'd with life, with life the air ; 70') 

Mostly new types of living things, though some 
From past creations, buried deep beneath 
Seas or the strata of incumbent soils, 
Borrowed their form. Innumerable tribes 
Of fishes, from the huge Leviathan 
Roaming alone the solitary depths 
To myriad minnows in their sunny creeks, 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 141 

The ocean pathways swam. Nor less the birds, 

Some of entrancing plumage, some of notes 

More trancing still, awoke the sleeping woods 800 

To gaiety and music. Others perched 

Upon the beetling cliffs, or walked the shore, 

Or dived or floated on the waves at will, 

Or skimmed with light wing o'er their dashing foam, 

Free of three elements, earth, water, air. 

And, as the fifth day to the sixth gave place, 

We gazed in eager expectation what 

Might crown our Great Creator's work. 

" But first 
All living creatures of the earth appeared ; 
Insects that crept or flew as liked them best sio 

In hosts uncounted as the dews that hung 
Upon the herbs their food : and white flocks browsed, 
Herds grazed, and generous horses paw'd the ground : 
And fawns and leopards and young antelopes 
Gambolled together. Every moment seem'd 
Fruitful of some new marvel, new delight, 
Until at last the Great Artificer 
Paused in His mighty labours. Noon had passed, 
But many hours must yet elapse ere night : 
And thus had God, rehearsing in brief space 820 

His former acts of vast omnipotence, 
In less than six days ere we stood aloof 
From that tumultuous mass of moving gloom, 
Out of the wrecks of past creations built 



142 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

A world before our eyes. All was prepared : 
This glorious mansion only craved its heir, 
This shrine of God its worshipper and priest. 

" Nor long His purpose in suspense. For soon 
Descending from the firmamental heavens, 
Where He had wrought and whence His mandates 
given 830 

Upon a mountain's summit which o'erlook'd 
The fairest and most fruitful scene on earth, 
Eden's delicious garden, in full view 
Of us His ministering hosts, He took 
Some handfuls of the dust and moulded it 
Within His plastic hands, until it grew 
Into an image like His own, like ours, 
Of perfect symmetry, divinely fair, 
But lifeless, till He stooped and breathed therein 
The breath of life, and by His Spirit infused 840 

A spirit endowed with immortality. 
And we, viewless ourselves in air, saw then 
The first tryst of a creature with his God : 
We read his features when surprise and awe 
Passed into adoration, into trust ; 
And heard his first low whisperings of love, — 
Heard, and remembered how it was with us. 

" But now, lowly in heart, Messiah took 
Mankind's first father by the hand, and led 
His footsteps from that solitary hill B50 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 143 

Down to the Paradise below, well named 

A paradise, for never earth has worn 

Such close similitude to heaven as there. 

The breezes laded with a thousand sweets, 

Not luscious but invigorating, breathed 

Ambrosial odours. Roses of all scents 

Embowered the walks ; and flowers of every hue 

Chequered the green sward with mosaic. Trees 

Hung with ripe clustering fruit, or blossoming 

With promise, on all sides solicited 860 

Refreshment and repose. Perpetual springs 

Flowed, feeding with their countless rivulets 

Eden's majestic river. By its banks 

The birds warbled in concert ; and the beasts 

Roamed harmless and unharmed from dell to dell, 

Or leaped for glee, or slept beneath the shade, 

The kid and lion nestling side by side. 

" These, summoned by their Maker, as they passed 
Before his feet, the ancestor of men 

Significantly named : such insight God 870 

Had given him into nature : but for him 
Of all these creatures was no helpmeet found. 
And solitude had soon its shadow cast 
Over his birthday's joy : which to prevent 
God drenched his eyes with sleep, and then and there 
Still in our aspect, from his very side 
Took a warm rib and fashioned it anew, 
As lately He fashioned the obedient clay, 



144 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Till one like man, but softer gentler far 

(The first of reasonable female sex, 880 

For spirits, thou knowest, are not thus create) 

He made, and brought her, blushing as the sky 

Then blushed with kisses of the evening sun, 

Veiled in her naked innocence alone, 

To Adam. Naked too he stood, but joy 

Not shame suffused his glowing cheek and hers, 

The while their gracious Maker joined their hands 

In wedlock, and their hearts in nuptial love ; 

Nor left them, till by many a flowery path 

Through orange groves and cedarn alleys winding 890 

At length He brought them to a fountain's brink, — 

The fountain of that river which went forth 

Through Eden, watering its countless flowers 

With tributary rivulets, or mists 

Exhaled at nightfall. There, on either side, 

A fruit-tree grew, shading the limpid spring, 

The tree of knowledge and the tree of life. 

" Hither when they arrived, the Son of God, 
With mingled majesty and tenderness 
Their steps arresting, bade them look around 900 

That garden of surpassing beauty, graced 
With every fruit that earth could rear, and rich 
With every gift that Heaven could give to man, 
And told them all was theirs, all freely theirs, 
For contemplation, for fruition theirs, — 
Theirs and their seed's for ever. But <nw pledge 



IV.] THE CREATION OP ANGELS AND OF MEN. 145 

He claim'd of their allegiance and their love, 

And, upon peril of His curse pronounced, 

The awful curse of death, forbade them taste 

The tree of knowledge. Then smiling He turn'd, 910 

And told them of the other tree of life, 

Of which divinest fruit, if faithful proved, 

They by His pleasure should partake at length, 

And without death translated, made like Him, 

In heaven and earth, for eaith should be as heaven, 

Reap the full bliss of everlasting life. 

" But now the evening sang her vesper song, 
And lit her silver lamps ; and vanishing 
From view of thy first parents, not from ours, 
Messiah rose into the heavens serene, 920 

And, gazing on His fair and finished work 
Outstretched before Him, saw that it was good, 
And blessed it, and in blessing sanctified ; 
Nor sooner ceased, than all the marshalled host 
Of angels poured their rapture forth in songs 
Of Hallelujah and melodious praise. 
No jar was heard. Then sang the morning stars 
Together, and the firstborn sons of God 
Shouted for joy, a shout whose echoes yet 
Ring in my ear for jubilant delight. 930 

And He with gracious smile received our praise, 
Lingering enamoured o'er His new-made world, 
The latest counsel of His love, the while 
Your earth her earliest holiest Sabbath kept, 



146 THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Gladdened with new seraphic symphonies, 
And the first echoes of the human voice. 



"Too quickly' it passed. And then, ere we retraced 
Our several paths of service and of rest, 
Messiah calFd us round His feet once more, 
And said to all, i Angels, behold your charge, 940 

Your pledge of fealty, your test of faith. 
Thine, Lucifer, of heavenly princes first, 
Earth is thy province, of all provinces 
Henceforth the one that shares My first regards. 
This is thy birthright which, except thyself, 
None can revoke : this firmamental heaven 
Thy throne ordained; and yonder orb thy realm. 
Thee, My vicegerent, thee I constitute 
God of the world and guardian of mankind. 
Only let this thy lofty service link 956 

Thee closer to thy Lord ; apart from Whom 
This post will prove thy pinnacle of pride, 
Whence falling thou wilt fall to the lowest hell, 
But under Me thy seat of endless joy : 
If faithless found, thy everlasting shame ; 
If faithful, this thy infinite renown. 
For, lowly' as seems the earth compared with heaven, 
We, the Triune, have sworn that through mankind 
The angels and celestial potentates 

Shall all receive their full beatitude ; 960 

Yea, that Myself, the Uncreated Word, 
Joined to mankind, shall of mankind elect 



IV.] THE CREATION OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 147 

My Church, My chosen Bride, to share with Me 

My glory and My throne and endless love. 

I am the Bridegroom, and the Bride is Mine : 

But yours, ye angel choirs, may be the joy 

Pure and unselfish of the Bridegroom's friend. 

Only be humble : ministry is might, 

And loving servitude is sceptral rule. 

Ye are My servants, and in serving men 970 

Ye honour Me, and I will honour you/ 

" So spake the Son, and forthwith rose sublime, 
His pathway heralded with choral hymns, 
Till on the heavenly Zion He regained 
His Father's bosom and His Father's throne." 



END OF THE FOURTH BOOK. 



L 2 



148 



BOOK V. 

THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 

" When throned on that aerial firmament 

Messiah singled out great Lucifer 

As His vicegerent over all the earth, 

Haply not one of the celestial hosts 

But felt in that archangel's rule mankind 

Had surest safeguard against harm. Such power, 

Such glory, such supremacy of will 

Was his. Even now his eclipsed majesty, 

Though falFn, overshadows potentates of heaven. 

But I have seen him, when sublime he came jo 

Forth from the presence of the Increate, 

His eye glistening with joy for some design 

Of lofty enterprise beyond our reach 

Safely confided to his puissant arm ; 

Some new apocalypse of truth vouchsafed 

To him, as prophet, to reveal to us. 

Things, which to other angels seemed obscure, 

Were crystal in his eyes : born to command ; 

In stature as in strength above his peers ; 



THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 149 

With whom and him comparison was not, 20 

Except with Michael, next in princely rank, 

And Gabriel the beloved ; three hierarchs — 

But Lucifer the chief. Nor odds appeared 

In outward state and circumstance of power 

Betwixt him and Messiah, when the Word 

Shrouding the awful blaze of Deity 

Beneath angelic garb, as He was wont, 

Mingled and communed with us face to face. 

All gifts of form, all attributes of mind, 

All high predominance of dignity 30 

Among his fellows, bound that lordly spirit 

To Him who made him such. O wherefore not 

The bond of everlasting gratitude ? 

Was it that knowledge with its dazzling light 

Grew yet more rapidly with him than love ? 

God knows, God only, how and when his will, 

Ranging through boundless latitudes of thought, 

First tampered with tyrannic pride. Unfallen 

He stood, though not unwavering, when the Son 

Placed in his hand the sceptre of a world. 40 

That crowning gift determined his resolve. 

Then wherefore placed He' it ? Brother, He foreknew 

That arch-imperial will, crown'd or uncrowned, 

Would yield spontaneous and spontaneous fall 

Untempted, unpersuaded, unseduced 

Save by itself, chafing because controlled, 

And finite amid God's infinitudes : 

Nor his alone, but myriad spirits of light, 



150 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Wavering like him, like him would fall. And, this 

Foreknowing, nothing to Omnipotence 50 

Remained but so to circumscribe the ruin, 

That evil might succumb to good at last, 

And darkness yield to everlasting light. 

For this must Sin be known, her face unmaskM, 

Her carcase stripped, her secret shame exposed, 

And thus her loathsome harlotry abhorred : 

Masked haply she had tainted all alike. 

Hence to the prince of angels was mankind 

Entrusted, and to man the fatal tree, 

Straitly forbidden, though accessible. 60 

" Unfall'n had Lucifer received his charge ; 
UnfalFn, not long. For, when Messiah rose, 
His new creation perfected, to heaven, 
He left as next associate in command 
Gabriel my chieftain : and with him I sate 
One eve conversing, on our watch intent 
(Earth had not kept her circling birthday yet), 
Upon that hill overlooking Paradise, 
Where Adam was created, when we heard 
Our leader's footstep, and together rose 70 

To greet him. Salutation with salute 
Freely he answered, but as one amused 
With his own thoughts quickly addressed us saying, 

" ' Brothers, I praise you and your faithfulness : 
No meagre proof of true humility 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 151 

For thee, archangel Gabriel, thee of all 

Heaven's principalities among the first, 

Here set to guard this latest work of God, 

This freak, this marvel of Omnipotence. 

Yes, we are to believe this worm o' the earth, so 

A spark may be of immortality 

Enshrined within a mortal coil of flesh, 

Made of the clay we stamp beneath our feet, 

Equal to us the firstborn sons of light ; 

Nay more than equal, that through him at last 

Beatitude shall flow to us, and man 

Exalted to the everlasting throne, 

The Bride, so spake Messiah, of Himself, 

Shall see the peerless potentates of heaven 

Standing far off in circles infinite, 90 

Or prostrate at her Bridegroom's footstool. Sure, 

If lowliness, as we have often heard, 

Be measured by the depth that we descend, 

This crowns that coy and virgin grace with praise/ 

" And Gabriel in sarcastic war unversed 
(The sw r ord of sarcasm was not drawn till now) 
Replied without suspicion — ' Lucifer, 
The smile upon thy mouth betrays thy mind. 
Thou dost but try our fealty, and test 
What answer we should make, if that unknown 100 

Tempter predicted should assail our faith. 
But wherefore should I weary thee, who knowest 
The easy answer to such sophistries ? 



152 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Our charge is not on man's behalf alone. 

Or chiefly, though our power is likest God's 

Whenever strength sustains infirmity, 

But rather for His sake who made us both : 

His work is wages, and His smile is heaven. 

What then if we are call'd to stoop to man, 

Our Maker, ours and his, stoop'd lower still 1 10 

In making and preserving us when made ; 

Both in His glorious likeness wrought. Nor will 

Our common Father raise these later born 

To our disparagement, but higher bliss, 

Through man more nearly' united with Himself. 

And, w T hen the fight foretold is fought and won, 

We, mutable by birth, shall stand henceforth 

For ever in our God immutable, 

By His love and our own experience fenced. 

Such arrows, Lucifer, thyself art judge, 120 

Recoil soon blunted from the shield of faith.' 

" To whom thus Lucifer, c So let it be. 
And if my language seem too bold, reflect 
It is the tempter, and not I, who speak. 
But were I he, and wert thou, O my friend, 
As thou art not, obnoxious to assault, 
I would attempt thee thus. Two paths are ours : 
That which for ages thou and I have trod, 
The pathway of obedience. There remains 
Untrodden that of disobedience. Why 130 

Should one be always best ? God calls for praise ; 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 153 

Praising I please Him ; praising not, displease. 

Why should I alway please Him ? Say, I choose 

To be my own eternal lord ? What then ? 

Oh, by those burning thoughts, those hopes that rise 

Within me subject to no will but mine, 

I ask, why are we made thus circumscribed ? 

Are there not possibilities of being 

Higher and nobler far than those we see ? 

Why are these myriads of the hosts of heaven ho 

So limited in power, that thou or I 

Can scarcely find our mate ? Why less than we ? 

Look at these vast innumerable worlds 

Rolling around us ; why not all the homes 

Of sentient things ? Man, male and female made, 

Is in himself a fountain-spring of life ; 

And why not angels ? Was the gift too great, 

Too perilous for us ? Remember, friends, 

The things that might be always underlie 

The things that are: things possible, things real. 150 

Say thou art wise and happy, — it is well. 

But why not wiser, happier ? answer me/ 

" ' Let Oriel answer/ Gabriel interposed. 

" ' So hath it pleased Eternal Love/ I said, 
c Perfect, Supreme, Unfathomable Love. 
To ask why we have finite faculties 
And diverse each from the' other, is to ask 
Why all yon planets are not suns, and suns 



154 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

All gorgeous as the heaven of heavens. Enough, 

The universe is music as it is. ]6o 

Ye both are greater far than I ; yet I 

Would not be other than I am, whose cup 

Already mantles to the brim with joy. 

And why yon globes are yet untenanted, 

Though not unuseful as the lamps of God, 

1 know no more than why my Maker fix'd, 

As pleased Him, in the mighty Past my birth : 

Nor care I further to inquire, but deem 

His hour is not yet come, of whose increase 

Eternity itself shall see no end. 170 

His time, His counsel must be best. Be this 

Our wisdom w T ith Omniscience to converse, 

Our joy the beaming of Eternal Light, 

Our strength to lean upon Almighty Power/ 

" And Lucifer, as strangely moved, replied, 
c I know He is Almighty : but I see 
Another image of Omnipotence, 
The awful Power of self-determined choice. 
Suppose I choose to worship at that shrine, 
What hinders ? Will God drag me to His feet ? iso 
Forced adoration, what were this ? and where 
His own irrevocable gift, freewill ? 
Will He destroy me ? nay, Himself has said 
We are endowed with immortality. 
That fatal dowry makes destruction null. 
What then ? He will beseech me to repent ; 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 155 

And, if obdurate, punish me ? But how ? 

He spake of death : but what is death to us ? 

Beasts die and birds ; man, made of flesh, may die : 

But we are spirits, imperishable spirits. 190 

He spake of hell : but where or what is hell ? 

Gabriel, thy lightsome wing from star to star 

Has spanned creation's height, depth, length, and breadth; 

Say, brother, hast thou ever seen this hell ? 

What is't ? a place of chains ? of punishment ? 

Can fetters bind ethereal essences ? 

Or would God make a creature who should live 

For ever in perpetual torment ? say, 

Gabriel, is this like God, — God, who is love ? 

Nay, rather when mankind has broken loose 200 

From his poor pledge, as tempted he will break, 

We shall be left sole arbiters of earth, 

And all angelic natures, one by one, 

Or flocking to our side in multitudes, 

Will join us. If I fall, why should they stand ? 

They poorer, I have more to lose than they, 

And yet risk all for freedom ; so will they. 

Ages may pass, but they will fall at last : 

Finite their power, temptation infinite. 

And God will exile me and them from heaven, 210 

And out of boundless space create new worlds, 

New habitants, but henceforth will beware 

How He endows with freewill like His own 

Spirits mutable like ours. All such methinks 

Sooner or later will forsake His throne. 



156 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Nor will our realms be limited, for wide 

As stretches this star-spangled firmament, 

The deep that lies beneath is wider still. 

And there at least we shall be free, unwatch'd, 

Lords of ourselves. His own essential form, 220 

Though in the outer darkness, will make light 

For each one to direct his steps at will. 

Nor will my legions wholly be debarred 

From fairer fields. This firmamental throne 

Was given me as my proper seat, this earth 

My destined empire, which I mean to hold 

Against all foes secure. Nay, shudder not ; 

Not without God shall I with God contend. 

Himself hath arin'd me for the awful strife. 

He made me free, immortal, innocent : 230 

He made abiding in His love the pledge 

Of service ; which whoever breaks becomes 

His adversary. This mankind will do, 

And straightway will be my allies, my bride, 

Who, if prolific as foretold, shall fill 

My kingdom with an offspring like their sire. 

Say, Gabriel, wilt thou cast thy lot with me, 

Filial associate ? or return to joys, 

Which only seem delightsome, till the higher 

Delights of perfect liberty are known ? 2 to 

Wilt thou be chained or chainless ? bond or free ? p 

" Impetuous words hung 011 my lips : but me 
Gabriel prevented : doubt obscured hi* look, 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 157 

Never obscure till now, as thus he spake, 

t Son of the morning', Lucifer, if thou, 

Though for our safer guardianship, assumest 

The tempter, let me answer thee as such. 

False voice ! that image of Omnipotence 

That so allures thee, self-determined will, 

Is but an image, at whose dreadful shrine 250 

Whoever worships is the slave of self, 

And must expect the portion of a slave, 

Fetters and stripes. Thou say'st there is no hell : 

Hast thou explored the secrets of that deep 

Thou claimest as thy heritage and realm ? 

Or if no hell exist as yet, why not 

Exist, as in a moment, if thou sin ? 

Thou canst not die, thou say'st : but what if death 

Be immortality in mortal pain ; 

Not endless nothingness, but endless woe ? 260 

Thou pleadest God is love : but what if love, 

Love to the universe, ay, love to thee, 

Lest worse rebellion worse restraint demand, 

Compel the flashing forth of those pure flames 

Which— now there is no sin, no enemy — 

Innocuous play around His awful throne ? 

All thou foreseest will yield like thee. False seer ! 

Hast thou forgotten that the hosts of God, 

Premonish'd of the coming strife, besought 

His prevalent aid ? And what if some refused, 270 

Weak in the fancied might of innocence, 

The Same who warned us enemies should rise 



158 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Foretold their final overthrow. And thou, 

Dost thou forecast the future, and in thought, 

Piercing eternity, assay to clutch 

Earth as thy empire and mankind thy bride ? 

False oracle ! Shall His word be reversed, 

Who here ordained Messiah Heir of all ? 

Or wilt thou, wrestling with Omnipotence, 

Wrest from His hands the sceptre, or usurp 280 

The smallest foothold of His universe, 

Who by Himself hath sworn that every knee 

Of things in heaven and earth and under earth 

Shall bow beneath His sceptre or His rod ? 

This, if thou wert the tempter, as my heart 

Of thee abhors to think, were my response, 

Now and for ever to reject thy thrall, 

And in the liberty of truth abide/ 

" The Arch-hypocrite replied, c Gabriel, I said 
Thy heart was proof against seductive wiles. 290 

I did but try thee : untried faith is nought. 
Pride has no charms for thee. Impregnable 
Thou standest. Only thus maintain the strife, 
And in the kingdom of eternal peace 
No brighter coronal than thine shall blaze 
Among the innumerable hosts of light. 
Each have our task assigned us. Mine is now 
To test the faith of others as thine own, 
Detecting whose fidelity is staunch, 
Or who are open to the coming foe/ 300 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 159 

u So saying, he left us on that hill. In muse 
Sate Gabriel for long while contemplating 
The moonlight sleeping on the woods and lakes 
Of Eden : but his thoughts were otherwhere, 
And at the last, heaving a heavy sigh, 
He said, ' Oriel, the conflict thickens. Days 
Of peril are upon us. Be it so. 
Farewell, a long farewell, ye hours of peace ! 
Thou unsuspecting confidence, farewell ! 
And welcome, so the Master's will be done, 310 

The strain of battle, and the patient watch 
For hostile stratagem far worse than strength. 
Now, brother, let us quit ourselves like those 
Whom God has call'd to fight, and pledge our troth 
As fellow- soldiers in the brooding war, 
And fellow-heirs of everlasting peace/ 

" I gave him silently my hand, and there 
Upon that mountain's brow we knelt and pray'd 
For timely succour in our hour of need. 
And, as we rose, the blessed Suriel came 3-20 

Like lightning from the footstool of the throne, 
And swift of wing spake to us winged words : 

" c Gabriel, thy prayer is heard. Messiah calls 
Thee to a council of angelic thrones, 
Held in His presence. Oriel, it is thine 
To watch mankind's first parents with a band 
Of holy ones now camping round their bower, 



160 THE FALL OP ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

And guard them from all ghostly violence : 
Other temptation, warned, themselves must shun. 
Brothers, my path is devious. Fare ye well/ 330 

" We parted, Gabriel to the heaven of heavens, 
I to heaven's miniature, sweet Eden's vale. 
There in a leafy arbour, side by side, 
Half waking, half asleep, for early dews 
Still drench'd the landscape, Eve on Adam's breast 
Pillow'd her head. Her loose dishevelled hair 
Part hid the scarlet of her cheek, and part 
Curl'd like a wreathen chain about his neck ; 
While underneath her slender waist his arm 
Embracing pass'd, until the listless hand 340 

Rested upon her heaving bosom. Round 
A company of angels lean'd entranced. 
Nor marvel : thou hast known in pilgrim days 
Earth's princes, weary of their royal state, 
Hang o'er the cradle of a sleeping babe, 
Spell-bound. And so in their most innocent loves 
Was that which moved us more than all the blaze 
Of seraphim, or song of heavenly choirs : 
The very tenderness of flesh and blood ; 
The very weakness of humanity; 350 

The unutterable sweetness of that bond 
Which link'd them, bone of bone and flesh of flesh ; 
The promise of fertility to Eve ; 
The fresh bloom of that first and loveliest bride 
Unfolding, like rose petals, to the joy 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 161 

Of Adam, first and goodliest spouse; the rites, 

Of their pure nuptial couch, a couch of flowers, 

Known but unwitnessed (there are mysteries, 

Which holy angels guard, but gaze not on) ; 

And the last awful issues life or death 360 

With their fidelity or frailty linked. 

" But now the rosy-fingered morn aside 
The curtains of the sun's pavilion drew, 
And he arose refreshed. So from their sleep 
That innocent pair invigorated rose, 
And from their arbour naked passed to pay, 
As they were wont, their early orisons 
Beside the fountain shaded by the trees 
Of knowledge and of life. Both loved the spot. 
There oftenest God would walk at eventide, 370 

Or dewy morn, or send some spirit elect 
To gladden more their gladsome solitude : 
A spot more sacred than the stony bed 
Where Jacob slept, and visited more oft 
With heavenly visitations. 

" So that morn 
Joyful they came. But even as they knelt 
And looked adoring upward, Adam saw 
Amid the foliage of that sapient tree 
Two glowing eyes, and soon a serpent knew, 
Amazed ; for heretofore nor beast would graze 3S0 

Beneath it, nor bird light upon its boughs — 

if 



162 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Such awe circled it round — but more amazed 

To hear that sinuous snake utter a voice 

Like God's voice, saying, ' Thou only follow me/ 

And Adam, by preventing prayer unarmed, 

Obeyed and went, whispering to startled Eve, 

' What this means, it is mine alone to search : 

Wait here my quick return/ And through the walks 

Of Eden, gliding with contorted rings, 

Now twisted in voluminous folds, and now 390 

Shot forward like a bird upon the wing, 

The serpent led the way, until his voice 

Seductive, ever beckoning ' Follow me/ 

Through many a labyrinth of fruits and flowers, 

Roses with orange groves, myrtles with vines 

Entwining, brought the ancestor of men 

To the far distant gates of Paradise. 

And then again the serpent spake and said, 

' Here tarry, while I bring a mystic key, 

Which shall unlock these envious gates, and yield 400 

Thee access to the boundless world beyond 

Of undefined delights. Fear nothing. God 

Will guide thee forth, and angels guard thy way, 

Eve thy companion/ 

u So the serpent leased, 
And back with smooth and undulating course 
Slid unimpeded by the tangled woods 
To that salubrious fountain-spring, where Eve 
Waited impatiently. Before her feet 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 163 

He bow*d submiss, and to her gaze, which askM 

Why Adam lingered, with ambiguous words 410 

Replied, ' He waits thy coming at the gates 

Of Eden, whence ere long thy steps and his 

Issuing shall tread the unexplored expanse, 

That lies beyond our narrow vale of bliss. 

But this beware, those gates instinct with life 

Will only on their golden hinges turn 

To one who in his hand a cluster bears 

Of this divinest fruit ; this fruit which first 

Opened my eyes to see, my tongue to speak. 

Take, fairest Eve, and eat/ 420 

" ' Enough/ she said, 
1 Our Gracious Maker interdicts this tree/ 

" Whereat the serpent subtle' of heart replied, 
c What, hath God placed you in this fruitful vale, 
Fruitful but narrow, and not given you range 
At least of every tree herein to eat ? 
It cannot be. Thou hast misdeemed His voice/ 

" And Eve responded, c Yea, of all the trees 
Innumerable, which here flower and bloom, 
And with delicious fruitage tempt our taste, 
We may eat freely. But this tree alone, 430 

Planted as in a temple here by God, 
He, knowing those who eat thereof will die, 
In love denies us/ 

m 2 



164 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

" And the serpent said, 
t Ye die ? Die ye ? Ye shall not surely die. 
I ate and died not. I, a serpent, ate ; 
And lo, so far from dying, instantly 
I lived a life, to which my former state 
Now bare existence seems. Then first I saw, 
Then spake I, heretofore incapable 

Of mental vision or articulate speech. 440 

This was my only death. And what for thee 
And Adam ? Surely ye will be as gods, 
Knowing all mysteries of good and ill, 
Divine intelligences, and, no more 
Within this garden's strait precincts confined, 
Shall range at will your boundless heritage. 
And this your Maker knows. Why otherwise 
Placed He this tree within your easy reach ? 
Why, but to test if those sublimer thoughts 
Within your bosom planted by Himself, 4 50 

Thoughts ever stretching towards the Infinite, 
By one bold venture daring death itself 
(That is translation to a higher life, 
There is no other death in yon fair fruit) 
Were worthy of Himself? Take, Eve, and eat. 
For what were all these trees, and what their fruits 
Delightsome in one heap before thee piled, 
Compared with this ? They feed the body' alone : 
This nurtures, elevates, expands the soul. 
They with their ruddy bloom rejoice the eve, 4Go 

And with their odorous scent the smell ; but this, 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 165 

At once in beauty and perfume supreme, 

Clothes all terrestrial things with heavenly light, 

And quickens by its spiritual essences 

The heaven-implanted spirit. Of this, fair Eve, 

This noblest boon of God to Paradise, 

Freely and without fear partake with me/ 

" Into her ear, into her heart the words 
Of that first tempter stole. Now glow'd the fruit 
Deliciously beneath the morning sun, 470 

Sweet to the eye, and sweeter to the mouth, 
Sweetest of all as promising unknown 
Unending banquets to the craving spirit. 
And so, with fatal and disastrous ease 
Lifting her hand into the clustering boughs, 
She touched, she took, she tasted. One small taste 
Sufficed. Her eyes were openM ; and she seemed, 
The moorings cut which bound her to the shore, 
Launched on an ocean of delights. Alas, 
Perfidious sea, on which the fairest bark 460 

E'er floated suffered foulest wrong and wreck. 

" Awhile as in a dream she stood, but soon 
Her scattered thoughts recalled, and from the boughs 
Selecting one loaden with luscious fruit 
She pluck'd it bower'd in leaves, and took her way 
To seek her absent lord. Him soon she met 
Returning with no laggard steps, for when 
The serpent slid with such strange haste away 



166 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

The loitering minutes hours appeared, and then 

A strange solicitude unknown before 490 

Began to creep around his boding heart, 

And he retraced his path. But when he saw 

Eve with flushed cheek and agitated mien 

Advancing, in her hand that fatal branch, 

His heart sank, and his lip quivered. And when 

She told her tale, the serpent's honeyed words, 

Her brief refusal, his repeated suit, 

Her answer, his reply, her touch, her taste, 

Then first upon the virgin soil of earth 

Fell human tears, presage of myriad showers. 500 

But when again with pleading eye and hand, 

Silent but most persuasive eloquence, 

She pray'd him share with her the fruit she bore, 

Then Adam wail'd aloud : 

" ' O Eve, my wife, 
Heaven's last, heaven's dearest gift, what hast thou done ? 
Me miserable ! Thou hast undone thyself, 
Thyself and me ; for if thou diest I die, 
Bone of my bone, flesh of my very flesh, — 
Eve, in whose veins my heart's best juices flow. 
"What can I do, what suffer for thee ? Say 510 

I rigorously refuse this fatal fruit, 
What, shall I see thy warm and gentle limbs 
Stiffen in death, and live myself? How live? 
Alone ? Or peradventure God will take 
Another rib, and form another Eve ? 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 1()7 

Nay, we are one. My heart, myself am thine. 

Our Maker made us one. Shall I unmake 

His union ? and transfer from heart to heart 

My very life ? Far higher I deem of love, 

No transferable, perishable thing, 520 

But flowing from its secret fountain God, 

Like God immortal and immutable. 

But oh, what follows ? Adam, be thou sure 

Of thy inflexible resolve — death, death : 

Both cannot live, and therefore both must die/ 

" So saying, from her hand he took and ate, 
Not circumvented by the serpent's fraud, 
But blindly overcome by human love, 
Love's semblance, which belied its name, denying 
The Great Creator for the creature's sake. 530 

u All this, and more than I can tell thee now, 
Ourselves invisible we saw : and, when 
Eve laid her hand on that forbidden fruit, 
Not one but felt God's interdict alone 
Restrain'd from dashing it aside. This knew 
The wily serpent lay not in our charge, 
Enjoin'd to ward off violence, not fraud 6 
But little guess'd we what malignant foe 
Lurk'd in that snake. Nor marvel ; who, though 

warn'd 
Dark mysteries of evil were abroad, 540 



168 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Who ever surmised that God-like Lucifer, 
The noblest of the firstborn sons of light, 
Would so debase his archangelic form 
As into that sly reptile to descend, 
And mingle his ethereal spirit one hour 
With bestial instinct ? Little then we guess'd 
To what abominations pride will stoop. 
Nor only we, but heaven's sublimest thrones 
Were here at fault. 

" Three weary days and nights 
We watched that miserable human pair, 550 

Weeping their utter ruin. Death had stolen 
Into their bosom's sanctuary : and lo, 
For love despite, for confidence mistrust, 
And for the ringing merriment of joy 
Mourning and heaviness ; but not the death 
For which in desperate expectancy 
They waited. And when this came not, they strove 
(And who that saw them could refrain his tears ?) 
To hide their shame with fig-leaves loosely strung, 
Lamenting their rent robe of innocence, 56o 

Rent by themselves. But now the third day's sun 
Was setting, and the wind of evening blew 
Its cool refreshment over wood and wave, 
When to our inexpressible delight, 
But their quick fear, Messiah's voice was heard 
Walking in Eden. In His eye was grief, 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 169 

And on His holy brow displeasure, mix'd 

With deep compassion, sate. With gentle voice 

He summon ; d those, who in their dread had sought 

The shelter of a leafy labyrinth. 570 

Trembling and pale they came, expecting death 

From Him their righteous Judge ; but He, with all 

A father's pity towards an erring child, 

Father and Judge in one, inquired their shame. 

Alas, their very words betrayed them, while 

Adam on Eve, Eve on the serpent, threw 

The load of guilt. But first upon the last 

The crushing sentence fell, the curse of God. 

No longer emulous of birds in speed, 

Darting like light from tree to tree, henceforth 580 

The serpent's belly to the dust should cleave, 

Dust be its nauseous meat, until at length 

The woman's Seed beneath His bruised heel 

Should bruise its head for ever. Mystic words, 

Which, even as uttered, fhTd our hearts with awe ! 

Then, turning to the serpent's victims, God 

Assigned to each their lot retributive : 

To Eve were sorrows of the womb and breasts 

Foretold, and multiplied from age to age, 

With strict subjection to her husband's law — 590 

A lot unsoften'd till the Son of Man 

Was of a woman born : to Adam, toil 

And bread wrung hardly from his native earth, 

Fruitful of thorns and watered with his sweat, 

Till dust should to its kindred dust return. 



170 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

tt And then mankind's first Priest and Minister 
Before them slew some firstlings of the flock, 
And pour'd their blood upon the thirsty soil, 
And having flayed the carcases consumed 
The flesh upon a sudden hearth of coals : 600 

First altar, and first holocausts, which taught 
The sinner that through sacrifice alone, 
The guiltless for the guilty slain, was now 
For man access to God. This having done, 
He took those skins and fleeces, nor disdained 
To fashion garments for their trembling limbs, 
Type of His spotless robe of righteousness, 
And clothed them. Nor till then the Son of God, 
Before He re-assumed His Father's throne, 
In pity lest in some rash hour they dare, 610 

Fallen as they were, to touch the tree of life, 
And thus (disastrous victory) achieve 
An immortality in mortal sin, 
Drave them before Him, weeping as they went, 
Forth from that happy garden, through its walks 
Of fruit-trees, by its crystal rivulets, 
And past its countless bowers of blossoming shade 
To Eden's distant gates. These opening wide 
Disclosed what seemed a tangled wold beyond, — 
Dark forests with their sparse and scanty plots 620 

Of pasture. But no choice remained them now. 
Loth went they forth. And at the portal blazed 
The flaming circling sword which warird their step 
From nearer ,u cess to the tree of life, 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 171 

And cherubim of glory shadowing 

The mercy-seat, the footstool of God's throne. 

u The sun was set. The mists hung heavily 
Around the mountain-tops : Adam and Eve, 
Without the gates but near them as they might, 
Were sleeping for sheer sorrow ; when my prince 630 
Gabriel, who with Messiah came from heaven, 
Call'd me. Together silently we roam'd 
The lonely walks of Paradise, through trees 
Which to our pensive musing seem'd to droop 
Their foliage as we passed ; until we came 
To Eve's now solitary nuptial bower. 
No happy hearts beat there : no angel guards 
Kept vigil : not a sound ruffled the air — 
Till Gabriel pointing to the desolate couch 
Said, c See what Sin hath wrought. The die is cast, 640 
The vast conspiracy is now abroad, 
The conflict is begun. Of all the thrones 
Summoned to meet in council before God, 
Not one was there, but Lucifer had tried 
Their faith as ours — whether in truth or not, 
None knew — such subtle ambiguity 
Had clothed his words. Nor only potentates, 
But all the legionary hosts of light, 
Since his vicegerency began, have known 
Struggle with doubts of outer darkness born. 650 

Myriads have falFn : myriads twice told are firm. 
Thus far the Word revcaPd. But when we ask'd 



172 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Who was the tempter ? Who had fallen ? Who stood ? 

How first the war arose, and how would end ? 

He answered that the strife would shortly prove 

His friends and foes, assaying every spirit ; 

And warned us that rebellion, now awork 

Among the hosts of heaven, would forthwith cast 

Its shadow upon earth : that man would fall : 

That days of foul ingratitude would seem 660 

To blot His love : that angels would be devils, 

Traducing God and all that breathed of God : 

That devils would become from age to age 

More devilish ; and mankind likewise : that Sin, 

Deadlier eruption than when hidden fires 

Bursting from earth's entrails have wrapt in night 

Former creations, over all would cast 

The mantling pall of death, dreadful eclipse : 

That He, foreseeing all this ruin, had formed, 

Deep in the unfathomable depth that lies 670 

Beneath the ocean veiling things unseen, 

Two vast receptacles sundered though near, 

One luminous, one dark : the first He named 

After this lovely Eden, Paradise, 

Henceforth the outer court of heaven itself; 

The other, precinct to the fiery lake 

Of dread Gehenna, Hell : and, ever as death 

Touched with his icy spear the sons of men, 

Thither their spirits dismantled should descend, 

And there await His judgment-bar, when they 

And rebel angels should receive their doom. 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 173 

€€ c Thus while Messiah spake, who should approach 
His throne, as wearied with unwonted speed, 
But Lucifer ? his brow contract, his eye 
Flashing with indignation, which at once 
Burst from his lips — " Mankind, Thy chosen race, 
Ingrate, and only by a reptile urged, 
Have eaten of the fruit proscribed. Wilt Thou 
I smite them, so that in the threatened day 
Of their transgression they may perish, Lord ? " 690 

" Myself will judge them," in calm majesty 
The Son replied, " Myself will judge them soon. 
Meanwhile their sin will be its chastisement. 
Sheathe thou thy sword, and to thy charge return." 

" ' And forthwith Lucifer obeyM ; and then 
The everlasting Son, as if methought 
Reposing on our loyalty and love, 
Turned to us saying, " My children, be not ye 
Staggered or troubled overmuch. Or ever 
The cloud arose, I warned you of the storm. 700 

And fiercely will the tempest rage ere long, 
And the proud billows toss themselves on high, 
And seem to mingle heaven's serene expanse 
With nether darkness. Fear not ye. For I 
Am throned above the angry waternoods, 
Compassionate because Omnipotent, 
Patient because Eternal. Sons of God, 
Be ye, too, patient. Not by power alone 
Must this great fight be foughten, or My foes 



174 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

Beneath the glory of My countenance 710 

Would melt like yonder incense clouds away. 

Howbeit not by power, but love with hate 

Conflicting, and humility with pride, 

Matchless humility with matchless pride, 

My Spirit shall wrestle with the spirit of evil 

In what may seem long while an equal war, 

But shall not prove so in the event. Hereby 

Shall the allegiance of My saints be known. 

There will be adverse powers, yet high in rank, 

The thrones and principalities of hell, 720 

Who shall bear rule through their appointed times, 

And challenge, as My representatives, 

Observance. Evil shall have scope enough, 

And range through heavenly places unconfined, 

The sons of darkness robed as sons of light, 

Until their hideous nature be declared 

And branded with the brand of wickedness, 

(Nor sooner their commission I revoke,) 

Gods of an evil eminence. Till then 

Their eminence observe, their evil abhor. 730 

Avenge not ye My cause. Vengeance is Mine. 

And when My time is come, I will arise 

And with the blasting of My breath of wrath 

Scatter My foes, and all My Father's smile 

Reflecting on My saints, angels and men, 

Fill heaven and earth with everlasting joy. " 

" ( So spake Messiah. And such pure delighl 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 175 

In blessing and responsive blessedness. 

Such calm assurance, such triumphant love 

Breathed in His aspect, none who saw but clave 740 

To Him with new intensity of zeal ; 

And, arduous as the strife foretold might prove, 

All felt beneath the banner of His love 

Labour was bliss, and battle victory. 

And soon the council was dissolved. The rest 

Thou know'st ; man's summons to his Maker's feet ; 

His and Eve's sentence, and expulsion hence : 

But tell me how the guileful serpent led 

Those guiltless to transgress ; for much I deem 

Angels from men as men from angels learn/ 750 

" Then I to Gabriel told what now to thee 
Of Eden's wreck. Nor then alone, but oft 
That great archangel summon'd me to rove 
With him among those solitary walks, 
And talk of happier days. But time would fail 
Here to retrace the ages, age by age 
Darker and more defiled, until the earth 
Was fill'd with lust and rapine. Not at once, 
In men or angels, the abhorrent plague 
Appear'd in all its loathsomeness. But as 76o 

In some fair virgin's bosom a small spot, 
As if a thorn had prick'd the delicate skin, 
Rises and spreads an ever-fretting sore, 
Creeping from limb to limb, corrosive, foul, 
Until the miserable leper lives 



176 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

A dying life, and dies a living death : 

So there. What though the cherubim diffused 

Their glory at the gates of Paradise, 

Earth's altar hearth of worship : what though men 

Peered through those golden bars on heavenly fields : 770 

What though they knew the tree of life within 

Shed month by month its beatific fruit, 

Unpluck'd but unremoved, a silent pledge 

Of immortality not wholly lost : 

What though thy eldest ancestors, themselves 

The firstfruits of redeeming pity' and love, 

Their children and their children's children told 

(A few millennial lives linked all to each) 

Of man's primeval state : all was in vain. 

The babe whom Eve, drying her woful tears, 780 

Clasp'd as the promised Seed, while angels stood 

Around unwitnessed sponsors to his name, 

Arrived at years, too soon betrayed himself 

Begotten of the Serpent's venomous brood, 

His brother's murderer : I was one who bore 

That protomartyr to his saintly rest : 

Dark omen of dark days to come. Arts grew 

Apace, but chiefly minister'd to arms ; 

Till Earth grew sick with deeds of violence, 

Sick at the heart. And when a holy seer, 790 

Who walked with God amid a godless world, 

Stood forth, and by the Prescient Spirit foretold 

Jehovah's Advent with His myriad saints 

To judgment, soon the madden'd multitude 



L 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 177 

Had torn that prophet limb from limb, except 
The Master whom he served had stoop'd, and borne 
His servant in His whirlwind chariot home. 

" And then the darkness deepened. Men with men 
Wrought wickedness. Nor less the spirits malign. 
The which when first they fell, as I have known, 800 
Compassionated even the wreck they made, 
Grew in malignity, till crime and craft 
Became to them what virtue once had been, 
Their joy, their nature, their essential life : 
Lovers of darkness, foul, obscene, impure, 
Some darker, fouler than the rest. Of whom 
Were Uziel and Samchasai his mate, 
By birthright sons of God, now sons of wrath, 
Who prompted by the boast of Lucifer, 
Mankind should be his bride, and stung with lust, 810 
Mix'd with the daughters of unhappy Eve, 
Heirs of her beauty not her penitence, 
In wedlock. Fatal league ! whence soon arose 
The monstrous brood of giants, ruthless race, 
Offspring of human and angelic kind, 
Who now confusion more confused, and stain'd 
The fairest homes with violence and blood. 
Rapine ran riot on the earth. Alas, 
Was this the earth, whose birth we blithely sang ? 
Hell gloated o'er the ruin : till the arch-spirit, S20 

Who ever at heaven's circling festivals, 
Cloaking his malice under show of zeal, 

N 



178 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

His bitter accusations plied, at last 

Affirmed all godliness extinct, and pray'd 

For vengeance on the wretched sons of men 

To vindicate the majesty of heaven. 

False spirit, in after ages Devil calPd, 

The lying father of all lies ! But then 

He seemed to triumph when the Word replied, 

One saintly patriarch alone was left; 830 

And, if mankind refused his warning voice, 

Then after respite due the wrath should fall. 

u Fresh respite only fresh rebellion bred. 
Earth fainted at her children's deeds. And God, 
With whose unalterable attributes 
Grief jars not, grieved within His heart, that man 
Was made for disobedience to unmake. 
Judgment awoke, and watched with tearful eye 
The cup of crime fast rising to the brim, 
And trembling on the very edge. Meanwhile 840 

At His command the ponderous ark was built, 
That jest of scoffers, on the wooded plains 
Of Asshur. Little recked the sons of men; 
The shipwrights lightly jested as they wrought, 
And ask'd if that huge vessel were to mount 
The hills or navigate the sandy wastes ? 
They ate, they drank, they wooed them wives and won, 
They builded palaces, they planted trees, 
Rich with far distant promise. Drop by drop 
The measure of ungodliness was fill\l. 850 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 179 

It overflowed. And forthwith Lucifer, 
Whether his eye, burning like coals of fire, 
With indignation gleam'd, or proud despite, 
Some doubted, claimed the overhanging wrath 
Should fall as threatened on his guilty realm. 

" His triumphing was short. For now the Son 
Came by a legion of His armed saints 
Attended (I was there) , and sent us forth 
To seize amid their foul indulgences 
(So Phinehas the lustful Zimri smote) 860 

First victims, Uziel and his cursed crew 
Surprised, and bring them fettered hand and foot 
Before Him. As He spake, so was it don?. 
And these Messiah, in the sight of all 
FalPn and unfalPn alike, adjudged to lie 
In chains of darkness in the lowest hell, 
Reserved unto the dreadful day of doom. 
Immediately we led them forth. No hand 
Was raised for rescue ; and no pleading voice 
For mercy. Terror shook the adverse ranks 8 70 

To see some of their mightiest thus arraigned, 
And cast to punishment condign : nor less 
Forebodings of like vengeance on themselves 
Disturbed their guilty thoughts. 

" While startled heaven 
Thus first beheld empyreal thrones dethroned, 
Earth trembled underneath her Maker's frown. 

n 2 



180 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. [BOOK 

The ark received her freightage, Noah last : 

Then God shut to the door : and massive clouds 

From treasure-houses inexhaustible 

Mantled the firmament in black, and burst 880 

In torrent floods on the soon sated plains. 

The rivers spurned their customed banks. The sea 

Roared, and enormous waves, crested with foam, 

Broke with incessant flow o'er sands and cliffs, — 

Vain barriers ! Whether now the ocean beds, 

By subterranean fires upheaved and raised, 

Disgorged the secrets of their- pathless depths ; 

Or whether, as the moon's calm influence draws 

The refluent tides in daily ebb and flow, 

So now she or some planetary orb 890 

Displaced, or in malign conjunction set, 

Drew more than half their waters from those seas 

Which more than half submerge thy native globe, 

Charging the heaven with clouds, and wrapping earth 

From pole to pole in one unbroken flood, 

A dreary waste of ocean without shore, 

And only by the solitary ark 

Relieved, the second cradle of mankind. 

" So saw I it, returning with my peers 
From our sad quest to Hades. Not that those poo 

Alone within the patriarch's vessel hid 
Found mercy. They alone were saved from death. 
But others, when the flood of waters rose 
From shores to plains, from plains to upland slopes, 



V.] THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 181 

From slopes to craggy rocks, from rocks to hills 

Still fugitive, at last betook themselves 

To agonizing prayer, their sin and guilt 

With bitter anguish not unmix'd with faith 

Bewailing, ere the lamp of life was quench'd ; 

Too late for rescue from the whelming waves, 910 

But not for that Almighty love they sought 

To snatch them from a lower depth beneath. 

And these, a remnant of that rain'd world, 

Surnamed the disembodied spirits in ward, 

Were convoyed to a lonely vale distinct 

With its own walks and gates in Paradise : 

Nor mingled with the other Blessed Dead, 

Till He, who grasped the keys of death and hell, 

Himself unbarred those portals, and proclaimed 

The everlasting triumph of the cross. 920 

t€ Justice had had its way ; and Mercy's voice 
Was now heard pleading in the ear of God 
Well pleased. Heaven closed its windows, and the deep 
Restrained its fountains, while the arid winds 
Swept o'er the floods, until the floating ark 
Grounded on Ararat, whose haughty peaks 
Soon from the tide emerged, islands of rock 
'Mid those subsiding waters. Day by day 
The thirsty sun drank seas. And when the dove, 
A second time returning to her roost, 930 

Brought in her mouth a tender olive-leaf, 
Emblem of peace, then Noah and hit sons, 



182 THE FALL OF ANGELS AND OF MEN. 

With living tribes innumerous, beasts and birds, 

Forth from the ark came flocking. And ere long 

The smoke of sacrifice arose, and God 

Smell'd a sweet savour of obedient faith, 

And set His opal rainbow in the clouds, 

A token when His judgments are abroad 

Of His perpetual covenant of peace. 

" Thus have I at thy suit in brief retraced 940 

The early annals of Creation's birth, 
Its cloudless sunrise, cloudless soon no more, 
Obscured and dark, but in its darkness spanned 
By the pure arch of promise. Time remains 
(Thine eye forbids me think I weary thee) 
To tell thee of another better ark, 
Like Noah's, cast upon the stormy floods, 
But sheltering One, who gave His life for man, 
A nobler Victim on a holier mount, 
The fragrance of which perfect Sacrifice 950 

Breathes infinite beatitude, and spans 
The clouds of judgment with eternal light/' 

Thus Oriel spake, and after grateful pause, 
Sweet silence, and yet sweeter interlude 
Of music on melodious strings, resumed 
The story of the great To-day of Time. 

END OF THE FIFTH BOOK. 



183 



BOOK VI. 

THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 

" The rainbow, that o'er Noah's sacrifice 

Stamped on the morning clouds the smile of God, 

Had scarcely hidden in the amber light 

Its unremaining hues, when Lucifer 

Summoned his scattered armies to attend 

His presence on his great viceregal throne, 

Set in the airy firmament. Far off 

The signal of the archangelic trump 

Rang through the void of heaven, and all his hosts 

Flocking in numbers without number stood, 10 

Cohorts and fiery legions arm'd for war, 

At awful distance from the standard waving 

Hard by his seat. Around it thrones were set 

In imitation of the mount of God, 

And soon a clarion blast resounding eall'd 

The rebel chieftains from their serried ranks 

To close about their Prince. Congress malign 

Of powers in common covenant with death, 

Gloomy conspirators, despair of good 



184 THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. [BOOK 

Graved on their brow, and in their baleful eyes 20 

Hunger for mischief ! But their robes of light 

And coronets of glory flashing fire 

Dazzled the empyrean, nor bespoke 

Less than a synod of apostate gods ; 

Whom Satan, over all predominant 

In cruelty and craft and fiendish pride 

As in infernal splendour, thus addressed : 

" ' Virtues of heaven, my comrades, who with me 
Have rather chosen liberty and war 

Than vassalage and ease, noble have been 30 

And vast beyond my highest hopes achieved 
Our triumphs. Where is now that innocent world 
Which God created for His pastime ? Where ? 
Destroyed, except a miserable few 
Hardly escaping with their skins, and they 
Sure victims in their turn to our intrigues. 
Messiah said that life should fight with death, 
And good with evil. They have fought. But whose, 
Proudly I ask, the victory ? ours or God's ? 
Not God's, but ours. One solitary seer, 40 

One only has been snatched from death and us. 
Is this the uttermost the Prince of Life, 
Aided by Michael and his peers, can do 
For His poor servants ? Nay, I wrong His rule : 
Some obscure suppliants age by age have foiled 
Our efforts immature as yet. The rest 
Have rather seem'd to court our tutelage 



VI.] THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 185 

Than we to proffer it ; and greedily 

Have revelFd in what we misdeem, no doubt, 

Hard servitude with scanty wages paid. 50 

So fertile in that cursed soil have proved 

The germs of sin. Darkness, tremendous Power, 

I see it written on the scrolls of fate, 

Must reign for ever there. But not from this 

My only confidence of empire. God, 

As I forewarned you, wars with God : and hence 

Interminable strife, or endless truce. 

What are they but His attributes in us 

That baffle Him ? Had He not fashioned us 

Free and immortal, He had forced our love, 60 

Or in a moment quenched our feeble hate. 

But now Omnipotence hath bound itself, 

Nor can Omniscience pierce the shrine of thought 

Itself has made inviolate. Think you 

Messiah knew me, when of all His hosts, 

Of all His flaming myriads, me He made 

God of the world and guardian of mankind, 

And for His viceroy chose His bitterest foe ? 

Ah, friends, He was too prodigal of gifts, 

And now repents too late. Wisdom and might 70 

Have here outwitted and outdone themselves. 

But now, ye gods, advise how best to wage 

Protracted warfare : for it seems mankind, 

As from a second centre, shall proceed 

To propagate their race — matter to us 

Of future triumph. Let them multiply : 



1S6 THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. [BOOK 

They only multiply our wealth in slaves. 

Were they upright as Adam, ere he fell, 

And pure as was their unstained mother, Eve, 

Did innocence secure those guileless hearts so 

From guile ? And these, impaired by sin, will prove 

An easier booty. That pellucid belt, 

Slung on the clouds, forbids us hope or fear 

Another flood of waters. And henceforth, 

Safe from such vast catastrophe of ruin, 

Though sweeping millions into hell at once, 

We weave our snares, and ply our arts to draw 

From their allegiance all the sons of men, 

Not one like that grave patriarch unseduced 

(For see how God's love lingers over one) : oo 

Then shall we reign without a rival here, 

This firmament our throne for ever. Say, 

What counsel or what might were best employ \\ 

For this great enterprise, in which we stand 

Equal antagonists to heaven in arms?'' 

" He ask'd, and Baalim arose, who next 
Shone in that fallen hierarchy sublime : 
Himself the prince of three, who with him wrought 
In all things, Belus and Beelzebub, 
A triad of angelic thrones. For God, loo 

Who, when He lit the flrmamental dome, 
Hung in the heavens a thousand double stars, 
Triple, quadruple, multiple, around 
Each other on a common centre poised. 



VI.] THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 187 

With colours complementary to each, 

Associate suns of glory, — God who grouped 

The Pleiads in their glittering sisterhood, 

Thus in the birthtime of creation wove 

Innumerable bonds 'twixt spirits and spirits, 

Source of untold delights in holy hearts, 1 10 

Sweet concords, charities, and tender loves, 

As with the fourfold cherubim, instinct 

With One presiding Spirit : but in the rest, 

Apostate, breeding worse conspiracies ; 

Which now appeared, when Baalim, his brow 

Clouded with counsel, pride impersonate, 

A trinity of wills in one expressed, 

Thus opened to his peers in crime his mind : 

" ' Well hast thou summoned us, O Lucifer, 
To consultation. Hitherto the war, 120 

Though crowned with victory beyond our hopes, 
Has lacked deliberate plan. And now mankind, 
Afflicted by the recent flood, will prove 
Less facile to our desultory' assaults. 
My counsel is, mindful how we ourselves, 
Combining and conspiring, spirit with spirit, 
Under thy subtle leadership, O Prince, 
Escaped the yoke, whenever flesh and blood 
Have swarm'd into a multitude again, 
To bind their scattered tribes and families 130 

In one confederate nation. Let one name 
Unite them. Let one vast metropolis 



188 THE EMPIRE OF DARKNB88. [BOOK 

Foster one common pride. Or, if ye will, 
Incite them to erect some mountain pile 
Whose top shall reach to heaven in their surmise, 
And let this be their citadel of strength 
For after a£*es. So shall deeds of wrong 4 , 
Which timid hearts had shrunk from if alone, 
Be wrought together in defiant league/ 

" So counselled Baalim ; and after him uo 

Rose on his right Apollyon, truculent 
His eye, and on his flaming sword half drawn 
Rested his restless hand. ' Comrades/ he said, 
' If Baalim's design prevail, and one 
Colossal empire stride athwart the world, 
What room were left for war ? What space for fields, 
Where I have reaped the richest sheaves of death, 
And mingling with the hostile ranks infused 
Infernal hatred into human hearts ? 
Nay, be it ours to nurture rival realms, 150 

Ourselves o'er them presiding (we shall love, 
As loves the prowling wolf its chosen flock, 
Each one his kingdom), and then sow betwixt 
Suspicions, hatreds, lusts, whence wars are spawned, 
Until we lead their armies fired with rage 
To mutual slaughter, foiling Him who made 
All of one common blood. Ye have my mind/ 

" Apollyon sate, gloomy as death. But now 
Near him arose, the loveliesl in form 



VI.] THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 189 

Of all the lost archangels, Ashtaroth, — 160 

The corypheus of a band of spirits, 

Six spirits, himself the seventh, and the rest 

Only less lovely than their chosen chief, — 

Of winning voice and sweet attractive grace ; 

So gentle, that his worshippers on earth 

Deemed him a goddess, though none such exist 

Among the fallen or unfallen hosts ; 

In diverse countries known by diverse names 

Hereafter : by the virgin troops of Tyre 

Surnamed Astarte, but in Nineveh 170 

Mylitta called ; along the isles of Greece 

Invoked as Aphrodite ocean-born, 

As Venus by the stately dames of Rome ; 

But in all lands adored with moonlight rites 

And softest hymns melodious. Ah, false fiend, 

In whose perfidious eye damnation lurks, 

A chalice in his hand of sparkling wine 

Whereof who drinks must die, and on his lip 

Kisses and smiles and everlasting woe ! 

" ' Thine, lordly Baalim, the task severe 180 

Of building vast confederacies of pride : 
And thine, Apollyon, jarring wars to breed 
Among the nations. But to me belongs, 
To me and to my legionary band, 
The smoother but the not less onerous work 
Of garlanding with buds and flowers and fruits 
The paths of pleasurable youth. I hang 



190 THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. [BOOK 

Around the traveller's footsteps day and night 

Singing my dulcet songs, and few are they 

Who close their ears against the charmer's voice. 190 

Each victim draws his mate : the throngs increase : 

They cluster round my cloud-like draperies : 

They press around my glancing feet : as moths 

That scorch their wings against the ardent flame, 

But stay not till with many an airy flight 

They plunge at last into their fiery tomb. 

Men call me Love, the deity of love. 

And thus it happened; when I saw that lust 

Conceiving brought forth sin, and sin alone 

Could wrest from God the empire God had made, 200 

I thought the best perverted would be worst, 

And chose the holiest of connubial rites, 

The mutual laying open each to each 

Of life's profoundest purest sanctities, 

And deem'd infusing poison there to mar 

The river at its fountain. The event 

Hath not belied my hopes. Friends, I have breathed 

Upon the lamp of hymeneal joy, 

And it hath sicken'd, sicken'd and expired, 

Almost as soon as lighted. Oftener yet 210 

Have I beguiled unstable hearts to seek 

In licence pleasures God has link'd to love, 

And blown upon their innocence, and bent 

In triumph not unmix'd with pity' and scorn 

O'er the unhallow'd couch. Men arm'd in proof 

Against all other wiles have yielded here, 



VI.] THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 191 

And, conquered by a glance, a blush, a sigh, 

For one brief hour upon a stranger's bosom 

Have bartered immortality of bliss. 

And haply in my woven chains of flowers, 220 

Chains light as gossamer, I, Baalim, 

Have bound more captives to our prince's car 

Than thou hast held in fortresses of power, 

Or thou, Apollyon, slain on fields of blood/ 

" And, as the fallen seraph sate, he threw 
A glance of such bewitching tenderness 
Around the assembly, none who caught his eye 
But felt, and with involuntary assent 
Did homage to the spell : his radiant form 
Recline or standing seem'd embodied grace, 230 

And the melodious treble of his voice, 
Like the far echo of seraphic harps, 
Rang in their ears : when on a sudden one, 
In stature low for gods, of downcast look, 
Rose from the furthest of those golden thrones, 
Mammon his name. His slow and painful words 
At first seem'd clinging to his lips, but soon 
Fell on that council with momentous weight, 
Nor least upon its haughty president : 

" c I too have poised the heart of man, and watch'd 240 
With sleepless eye what avenue may best 
Yield us access. And here I answer, Gold. 
Smile not that yellow dust should have such power ; 



192 THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. [BOOK 

For what is man but dust ? What marvel then 

Dust over dust holds sway ? The blighted earth 

No longer yields him her spontaneous fruit. 

Poor wretch, his sweat moistens his daily bread. 

Labour is bread, and bread is life : and thus 

He lives a pensioner for every breath 

Upon Another's bounty — yoke to us 250 

Insufferable, not the less to man. 

But gold appears a tower other than God, 

With honours, pomp, and endless pleasures stored, 

Impregnable while life shall last. Poor fool, 

He knows not in the lowest keep a fire 

Smoulders in its own ashes self-conceaFd : 

It glows ; it flames ; it never says, Enough — 

More is more fuel — till the shrivelFd soul, 

Alive but wrapt in cerements of death, 

Breathes out itself upon that funeral pyre. 260 

Whatever counsels may obtain this day, 

Let mortals worship at this golden shrine, 

They will not fail of hell. What would ye more ? ' 

" So Mammon sate ; and opposite arose 
Moloch, tremendous deity, who thus 
Louring addressed his peers : 

" i There is a power 
Mightier than pride, or war, or pleasure's thrall, 
Or greed of gold, — the intolerable pangs 
Of conscience seeking rest and finding none, 



VI.] THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 193 

The terror which hath torment. Slighting this, 270 

We do ourselves, we do our cause much wrong. 

Friends, I have seen the wretched outcast rove, 

Driven by the anguish of tyrannic guilt, 

Prom land to land self-exiled. I have seen 

Parents imbrue their clenched hands in the blood 

Of their own children. Nor do I despair 

Of more. So dreadful are the shadows cast 

From the dark outlines of that prison of death 

Whence never yet a prisoner returned, 

That unknown all-embracing dungeon house, 280 

What likelier in process of time than they 

Of men most miserable, finding God 

Deaf to their rebel importunities, 

Should call upon the dead ? a bootless cry, 

Which nathless we will condescend to hear, 

And by permission answer those who sell 

Their souls for hidden lore, ordaining them 

Not without dismal rites of sorcery 

Our priests and priestesses. So shall we wield 

An enginery of next to' Almighty power. 290 

For conscience hath in it the strength of God, 

Which can creation uncreate, and make 

A hell of heaven. It is God's oracle : 

And if our voice be but mistaken for God's, 

The terror-stricken worshipper is ours, 

Body and soul, for ever and for ever/ 

" As Moloch spake, his gloomy words though brief 

o 



194 THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. [BOOK 

Such echo found in lamentable hearts 

Once calm as yonder firmament, but now 

Vex'd and disquieted and ill at ease, 300 

(For what was man's. unrest to theirs, though like ?) 

That misery held them mute. Which soon their chief 

Perceiving, fearful lest remorse might lead 

Any to mourn their choice (example dire), 

Majestically rising from his throne 

Around the council threw his scornful eye 

Burning with pride, and thus resumed debate : 

« c Thrones, virtues, principalities, and powers, 
Titles vouchsafed us not in vain by One 
Who never of His words or gifts repents, 310 

Ours therefore by inalienable right, 
Ye hear your brethren. Well have they advised. 
Let Baalim his empire raise supreme, 
Or empires out of ruined empires build, 
Each greater than the last (for who can doubt 
That God will cross our counsels ? vain attempt) , 
Each worse, — a worse must still be possible, — 
Our scale of greatness. Let Apollyon whet 
The keen edge of intestine feuds and wars. 
Let Ashtaroth in chains of love or lust 320 

Lead forth his groups of willing prisoners, 
Gay captives, garlanded with fading flowers, 
Behind our chariot wheels. Let Mammon heap 
Fuel for fire on stubborn hearts, and there 
Foster the secret flame unquenchable. 



VI.] THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 195 

And last, though loftiest enterprise, be thou, 

Moloch, as a god to men, and grasp 
Their conscience with the iron gripe of fate. 

We need your banded strength. Nothing, O peers, 
Nothing is done while aught remains to do. 330 

We have not trodden yet the unseen shades, 
Divided, if report speaks true, betwixt 
A paradise of bliss and prison of woe ; 
To us alike impenetrable. At least 

1 own my uttermost of effort foiled, 
By some obscure necessity debarred, 

Some limit against which I dashed my wings 
As against viewless crystal. Be it so. 
We have not yet achieved the battle-field; 
Nor can expect the provinces beyond. 340 

Earth once our trophy, we shall conquer peace, 
And soon behold the regions under earth 
Abandon'd by their Maker, nothing loth, 
Being we leave the walls of heaven unsealed. 
Earth, earth must first be ours. But, friends, for this 
We must defile mankind ere we destroy : 
Evil must go before us, death behind. 
God has not yet forsaken man, nor yet 
Suffers that we assail the fleshly tent 
Of his short pilgrimage. Herein beware. 350 

Here Samchasai and Uziel with their hosts 
Erring have fallen ; a fall to be avenged, 
Not followed. What, shall we, celestial powers, 
For the brief lust of carnal pleasure mar 

o 2 



196 THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. [BOOK 

Our mighty future ? Tush, leave this to man, 

Your dupes and drudges. Or if thoughts of joys, 

Forbidden to angelic natures, stir 

Within your bosom, only' abide your time, 

And when the realms of darkness are defined, 

And God has yielded this fair earth to us, 360 

As He must yield when utterly corrupt, 

Then shall ye and your legions, as ye list, 

Act by mankind, your conquered heritage. 

I will not question how ye treat your slaves. 

Meanwhile be this our sleepless care to' estrange 

Them and their God, rousing His wrath, their hate. 

How think ye ? Had He not at Eden's gate 

His mercy-seat and altar blazing nigh, 

Whereat who knelt with sacrifice and prayer 

Alone repulsed our arms ? Henceforth, O peers, 370 

If men wall worship, let them worship us, 

Despite the everlasting interdict 

Which severs things unseen and seen. Why not ? 

Let them make images of wood and stone, 

Brass, iron, silver, gold, and call them gods, 

Adoring us in them by countless names. 

My counsel moves your laughter. But if once 

The Almighty, jealous of His name blasphemed, 

Swear in His wrath that He disowns mankind, 

Our work is done, the empire is our own. 

Be it thy charge, O subtle Sammael, 

Thou master of the spells of ignorance, 

To blind their eves and indurate their hearts. 



VI.] THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. L97 

For now our watchword must be fraud, not force ; 
Darkness our panoply : and of success 
The past affords us no uncertain pledge/ 

" He spake, and murmurs of assent not loud 
But deep, — as is the ocean's sudden roar, 
When a careering blast with tempest charged 
Down rushing through the mountain gorges strikes 390 
The waters of a rocky bay, whose cliffs 
And caves re-echo when the storm is past, — 
Spread in interminable waves of sound 
Along those countless ranks. Gladly they crouched, 
As weaker spirits will crouch, beneath the shade 
Of wickedness more wicked than their own, 
And calPd upon their prince as God : when, lo, 
A cloud impenetrable to all light, 
At first not larger than the mystic hand 
The prophet's servant saw from Carmel's rocks, 400 

Hung poised above the throne of Lucifer, 
And, spreading with the speed of thought, o'erhung 
The apostate armies, shroud of dreadful gloom, 
Darkness that might be felt. Xor dark alone, 
But soon sharp lightnings flash'd abruptly; bright 
Startling the black a moment, and then quench'd ; 
While volleys of tremendous thunder shook 
The furthest empyrean, and the hearts 
Of that rebellious host. Speechless they stood 
And stricken, as if every peal announced no 

The crash of worlds. In horror Lucifer 



198 THE EMPIRE OE DARKNESS. [BOOK 

Gazed upward, sinking on one knee appalPd. 

For still the darkness deepened; and the wrath 

Apparent stamped on every guilty brow 

Its scathing impress ineffaceable, 

The death-brand on the children of despair. 

And for one dreadful hour, one of heaven's hours, 

None from his seat arose, or station stirred, 

Or moved his lip, or trembled. Terror froze 

Their hearts insensible, until a sound, 420 

More terrible than thunder, vibrated 

Through every spirit, Jehovah's awful laugh, 

Mocking their fears and scorning their designs, 

The laughter of Eternal Love incensed. 

It passed ; and then as suddenly the sky 

Was clear, and save the graven brand on each 

No vestige of that cloud of wrath remained. 

" Nor was it long before the rebel host 
Resumed their courage, and in marvel gazed 
Each on the other that the vengeful flame 430 

Had smitten none among*st them, and ere long 
Jested at their own fears, but vainly'' assayed 
To rase the ineradicable sign 
Too deeply on their cursed brow inured ; 
But, finding all their efforts useless, laughed 
At this dark badge, which Satan told his mates 
(Satan henceforth his name, and demons theirs) 
AVas the predestined bruise on him and his, 
The serpent and its seed : — cheap penalty. 



VI.] THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 199 

He vaunted, for a world, and gladly paid, 440 

A warrior's honourable scar, the pledge 
Of daring and of desperate revenge. 

" So in their fiendish pride they schemed. But this 
Shadow of things to come was but the first 
Faint pressure of God's hand, a transient breath 
Blown from that wrath which to the lowest hell 
Burns and shall burn for ever, — though by them 
Discredited, when forth in swarms they went 
From that infernal senate, as they thought 
To wrest the sceptre from Almighty power, 450 

And bafHe the All-wise in counsel. Fools, 
And blind ! Vainly, when plann'd by Baalim 
The city of confusion rear'd its brow 
Towards heaven, a whisper of God's voice perplex'd 
The builders' language and their works at once. 
When Ashtaroth, standing himself aloof, 
Through some of his perfidious crew defiled 
With lust and blood the cities of the plain, 
Vainly the fiery wrath too long provoked 
Fell undistinguishing on men and fiends, 460 

And made of earth's most fragrant flowery vale 
A picture of Gehenna's burning lake. 
And when at last the prince of darkness, couch'd 
In symbol of the great leviathan, 
The dragon of the river floods of Nile, 
Hardened the heart of Pharaoh, scourged by all 
Heaven's plagues, until il grew like adamant, 



200 THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. [BOOK 

And led him to assay the ocean depths 

And satisfy his lust on Israel there, 

Vainly God moving in the pillar cloud 470 

Smote with His glittering* sword that monster's head, 

And with the wreck of chariots and of arms 

And horsemen overtaken in baleful rout 

Cumbered the waters and confused the shores. 

All was in vain. Each desperate repulse 

But seem'd to kindle fiercer subtler hate 

In those infatuate spirits, till I have seen 

The cheek of Michael alter with distress, 

And all the hosts of heaven astonied stand, 

As couriers in successive hours announced 480 

Hell's endless crafts, each deadlier than the last. 

" The clouds yet brooded npon Sinai's peaks, 
And twice ten thousand chariots flashing fire 
Attended Him, who plants His steps serene 
Upon the whirlwind and the storm, and there 
Was communing, as communes friend with friend, 
"With Am ram's princely son, when Sammael, 
(In Egypt as the great Osiris known,) 
By all the judgments on his countless fanes 
And Satan's ghastly wound imterrified, 490 

_M< >ved Israel and their timid priest to cast 
Their idol owl, and interweave with son^s 
Their naked dances round the golden calf ; — 
Vision to us of horror and of grief. 
Presaging woo. Ah, faithless children ! Still 



VI.] THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 201 

The manna fell around their pilgrim tents; 

The living water from the smitten roek 

Still tracked their devious steps ; the fiery cloud, 

Shadowing the tabernacle, still bespoke 

Jehovah's awful Presence ; — when they turned 500 

(Hard to believe, though seen) and chose for gods 

Grim Moloch's shrine and Remphan's lurid star. 

But Mercy strove with Judgment, and prevailed, 

And led them to the promised land, a land 

With milk and honey flowing, redolent 

With Eden's fragrance in a fallen world, 

The glory of all other lands. But there 

Abandoning ere long the holy tent, 

In Shiloh first, after on Zion pitch'd, 

Throngs of insensate worshippers besiege 510 

Lewd Baal's gates in Bethel and in Dan. 

But little boots it to recall those scenes 

Of foul apostasy, though here and there 

Illumined with celestial lights of faith 

And virtue militant. Once only' it seem'd, 

When saintly David fell on sleep, and left 

To Solomon his sceptre, prince of peace, 

Angels might yet behold upon the earth 

A nation witness for the truth. Ah, brief 

And fleeting vision ! Soon on Salem's height 520 

Gaunt altars rose to every hideous god. 

And thenceforth 011 through wean' centuries 

Of vigil, oft the blessed stars appeared 



202 THE EMPIRE OF DAKKH18S. [BOOK 

As blotted from the very firmament 

Appaird. What time of Israel's chosen tribes 

Ten, like a loosened cliff, crumbled and sank 

Into the surging tide of heathen lands, 

Who shall relate the scoffs of fiendish mirth, 

That taunted our persistent ministries 

Camping around God's hidden ones? And when, — 530 

Albeit awhile the sudden blast of death, 

As Michael waved his keen far-reaching sword 

Over the armies of Sennacherib, 

Shielded the royal city, — when at last 

The cup of Israel's wickedness was full, 

And Asshur, trampling on Jerusalem, 

Led forth her trembling prisoners to hang 

Their harps beside the proud Euphrates' banks, 

Then shouts of nearer victory fill'd the air, 

And Satan's firmamental kingdom rang 540 

With praises of their leader's matchless craft, 

And loudly-mutter'd blasphemies of Him 

TThose patience they misreckon'd impotence. 

" So dream'd they dreams, which nothing but the 
strains, 
Breathed from the solemn harp of prophecy, 
Disturb'd ; — mysterious harpings on the wind, 
Not now first mingling with the jarring* sounds 
Of earth and time, for they had ever rung, 
Since Enoch laid his hand upon the chords, 



VI.J THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 203 

Echoes of heavenly voices in faith's ear, 550 

Still clearest in the hour of sorest need, 
But never more distinct than now. 

" The sun 
Still couched unrisen beneath the dawning hills, 
But far and wide the heavens were all aglow 
With saffron lights and hues of roseate pearl, 
Shedding upon the towers of Babylon, 
Its massive walls, and gates of burnished brass, 
And gardens in the golden morn suspense, 
Nor least upon the river's amber waves, 
A thousand changeful splendours. On a roof 56o 

Beneath the open sky a young man lay 
And slept ; serene his brow ; and on his face 
Even in his sleep a smile of holy joy 
Played inexpressible, which, when he rose 
With morning from his calm unruffled couch, 
Flowed from his lips in praise. Gabriel and I 
Had watched his slumbers, and, so ordered, hung 
On his unfaltering steps, as through the ranks 
Of courtiers, followed by a trembling group 
Of magi, sorcerers, astrologers, 570 

Who gazed on him incredulous, he passed, 
And calmly faced his monarch's baffled pride. 
And as, instructed by the Spirit of God, 
He in their audience (nor in theirs alone) 
Renewed the faded image, excellent 
In brightness and in stature terrible ; 



204 THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. [BOOK 

And then, as God's ambassador, revealM 

The import of the head of gold, the breast 

Of silver, and the loins of brass, and legs 

Of iron and of miry clay compact, 5 so 

Portending ruin, till a mystic stone, 

Quarried and fashioned by no human hand, 

Smote that colossal idol, which straightway 

Crumbled to dust and vanished as the chaff 

Driven idly from the summer threshing-floor, 

The while that rock grew vaster and more vast, 

A mountain whose circumference was earth, 

And whose eternal canopy the heaven ; 

As thus that youthful seer, dauntless in heart 

And mien, cast his prophetic eye of fire 590 

Athwart the changes of tumultuous time, 

And in the illimitable distance saw 

i 

Eternal love triumphant, Gabriel looked 

On me and smiled, and we refreshed our faith 

With strength in mortal weakness perfected. 

Hard by us Baal stood, and Ashtaroth, 

And Moloch, kept in terror by the sword 

That waved in Gabriel's hand ; but oh, the scowl 

Of cruel disappointment on their lip 

And baffled vengeance, till obscure they shrank tioo 

To nurture worse designs ; while songs of praise. 

Flowing spontaneously from angel harps 

Were wafted to the ear of God in heaven. 

" Nor learned we less of faith's omnipotence, 



VI.] THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 205 

When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego 

Chose for their dying couch the fiery kiln, 

Rather than vile prostration to the god 

Chaldeans monarch, brooding o'er his dream, 

Not uninspired by Belus, reared aloof 

On Dura's sultry plain, finding amid 610 

Those thousand forked tongues of hungry flame 

An unsuspected Paradise more sweet, 

Than sinless Adam when he walked with God 

In Eden. But enough, brother, thou knowest 

All that befell that haughty monarch driven 

From palace halls with flocks and herds to graze, 

A bitter school. Thou knowest the weary lapse 

Of those predestined threescore years and ten 

Of Israel's woe and Babylonia's pride, 

Even to their latest bourne, that impious feast G20 

By those brief characters of doom perplexed, 

When Persia grasp'd the sceptre Asshur dropped. 

Thy heart has been with Daniel in the den 

Of lions. I was by his side that night. 

And when he wrote upon his mystic scroll 

The visions of his lonely bed, wherein 

Earth's proudest realms as ravenous beasts appeared, 

Assyria, Persia, Macedon, and last 

One diverse from all others, iron-tooth'd, 

Ten-horn'd, dreadful and strong exceedingly, 630 

Far ranging o'er the desolated world, 

Till earthly thrones all sank in ruinous heaps 

Before the Ancient of eternal days, 



206 THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. [BOOK 

I saw the joyous eloquence, that flashed 

From that lone prophet's eye undimm'd by age, 

And lighted up his wrinkled countenance 

With glories from the everlasting hills. 

Nor was I absent, wdien his prevalent prayer 

Clomb to the highest heavens, and Gabriel came, 

Descending with the speed of seraphim, 640 

The herald of evangel grace, though linked 

With mystic times and numbers, seventy sevens ; 

Nor wholly clear nor dark, faith's chosen light. 

And I was there what time a mightier One 

Than Gabriel, having striven, self-limited, 

With Persia's guardian fiend three weeks of days, 

Till Michael sped, permitted, to his aid, 

Beside the crystal waves of Hiddekel 

Reveal'd His glory and the scroll of time 

Till time should be no more. 650 

" The light of heaven 
Soon faded, and the transitory rent 

Through which it stream'd was block'd with denser cloud : 
But it had lit imperishable hopes 
In human hearts and ours. How could we faint, 
Or how despond, when men of flesh and blood, 
Weaker than we in power but strong in prayer, 
Wrestled and wrought and vanquish'd? Oft herein 
They ministered to us as we to them. 

" Without us haply human faith had fail'd, 






VI.] THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 207 

Without them ours. For still the gloom increased. 660 

What though a band of stricken fugitives 

Returned to lorn Jerusalem and built 

Their wall and temple gates in troublous times ; 

What though in faded splendour Judah held 

His trembling sceptre ; darkness wrapt the earth. 

Apollyon, Baalim, Beelzebub, 

Bel, Dagon, Chemosh, Nisroch, Arioch, 

Merodach, Moloch, these and countless more, 

With hosts of spirits subordinate to each, 

They to their princedoms, these to Satan bound, 670 

Banged in imperious tyranny abroad, 

And chose their various realms as liked them best, 

And parcelled out the kingdoms of the world 

Amongst them as their rightful heritage. 

Each region had its dynasty of gods : 

Primeval Asshur hers, whose altars blazed 

Upon the plains of Shinar : Persia hers, 

Beside her founts of liquid fire : and where 

The mighty Indus rolls its tide of wealth, 

Innumerable shrines, sparkling with gems, 680 

Studded the odorous banks. But none like Greece 

Could boast its names of graceful deities 

For every fountain, and for every breeze, 

For every stream, and wood, and ocean shore, 

For night and day, for sunshine, and for storm, 

For every changeful phase of Nature's moods, 

For every passion of the human heart, 

For wine, for war, for laughter, and for tears, 



208 THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. [BOOK 

For nuptial dances, and for funeral dirge, 

For all things from the cradle to the grave 690 

And past the grave in Hades, — over all 

Were gods, or goddesses, or demigods, 

Sylphs, nymphs, fawns, muses, graces president ; 

For here the sevenfold power of Ashtaroth, 

Encamping with his limitary hosts, 

First fiVd his seat, in after years removed 

Where Tiber rolls beneath the walls of Rome. 

" x\mongst them Satan ranged pre-eminent, 
Incessant ; and, denied ubiquity, 

Yet seemed the more to multiply himself, 700 

And almost with the speed of thought to be 
(For narrow is the breadth of earth to spirits 
Accustomed to celestial latitudes) 
Where most the struggle lacked his puissant arm, 
Or archangelic counsel. Nor the less, 
When to the heaven of heavens the sons of God 
Were summoned, sate he on his ducal throne. 
Arch-adversary was his name, well earned ; 
And well by all his ministers of state 
And legions seconded. 7 1 < > 

" Yet deem not we 
On God's behalf w r ere idle. O'er the world 
Death reign'd, but underneath its sable shroud 
Life wrought in secret, as serenest gems 
In darkest caverns oft are found anneaFd, 



VI.] THE EMPIRE OF DARKNESS. 209 

Crystalline amethysts, or roseate quartz, 

The pure quintessence of incumbent rocks 

Distiird by extinct fires. And it was ours 

To watch these priceless jewels carved and set, 

As finished, in that diadem of glory, 

Wherewith in fulness of predestined time 720 

Messiah shall appear for ever crown'd." 



END OF THE SIXTH BOOK. 



210 



BOOK VII. 

REDEMPTION. 

As one, who having 1 climVd the livelong day, 

Not unaccompanied by friendly steps, 

From the rock-girdled marge of gay Lucerne 

By Altorf s memorable walls, and glens 

Through which the headlong Reuss rushes amain, 

Scarce under skiey Hospenthal one hour 

Sojourning, stands at last with weary feet 

Upon the summit of Saint Gotthard's wilds, 

And sees the intricate ravines, that slope 

Down to the sunny vales of Italy, l o 

And smiles to see them, yet before he wends 

Along the young Ticino's purling brook, 

Pauses, and with inquisitive retrospect 

Speaks with the toilworn comrade by his side 

Of defiles they have passed to right and left, 

And chasms, and rainbow-haunted cataracts, 

And vistas through the dawning hills, the which 

Their onward track forbade their steps explore ; — 

So paused Oriel, my guardian, here. And long 



REDEMPTION. 211 

We spake of sacred stories, such as oft 20 

In pilgrim days I loved to meditate, 
Now by his transitory words illumed 
With unsuspected glory : of Jacob's dream 
Scaling the heavens, and built of things that are ; 
Of those funereal rites on Pisgah's brow, 
When Michael in Jehovah's name rebuked 
The daring prince of hell ; of that Arch-fiend 
Repairing with the other sons of God 
To heaven's high festivals, ere leave obtained 
To breathe disaster and eclipse of joy 30 

Upon the patriarch in the land of Uz ; 
Of David moved by him in evil hour 
To count the tribes of Israel ; of the strife 
On Carmel's rocky sides, when Baalim, 
By bloody supplications importuned, 
Raved all in vain to answer ; of the car, 
That fiery car by fiery chargers drawn, 
Which stooping o'er the Jordan's wilderness 
Wafted Elijah to the rest of God ; 

Of that false emissary, who assumed 40 

To lure forth Ahab to the field of doom ; 
Of Joshua, son of Josedech, withstood 
By Satan, but upheld by Satan's Lord ; — 
Of these and other marvels, when the veil 
Was rent betwixt the things unseen and seen, 
Shedding bright beams of glory on the earth 
What time the clouds were darkest, for a while 
We communed, till my heart afire with hope 
p 2 



212 REDEMPTION. [BOOK 

Besought him to resume where last he left, 

Upon the extreme verge of better days, 50 

Time's awful drama, which he thus vouchsafed : 

" One night, when night was listening for the dawn, 
Aloof upon the brow of Olivet 
I gazed on sleeping Salem. In the East 
Flushed a faint streak of pearl : the distant hills 
Slumbered in shadow, and the vales in mist : 
When haply prompted by the hour, or thoughts 
Of loftier vigilance, for many signs 
In heaven and earth as in the middle air 
Of late had quickened us to keener guard, 60 

Musing I uttered half unconsciously 
The prophet's words, c Watchman, what of the night ? l 

" Sudden I heard the rush of angel wings, 
And Gabriel stood beside me, saying, ■ Brother, 
The morning cometh, and the night : beyond 
All is unclouded everlasting day. 
This very hour the Sun of Righteousness 
Peers o'er the horizon. Virgin-born to-night 
Within the crowded gates of Bethlehem 
A Babe, who owns no human sire, is lying 70 

Upon His mother's bosom. It was mine, 
Some space agone, to tell that lowly maid 
Of David sprung, in David's house betrothed, 
The awful secret of Messiah's birth, 
The advent of the Holy Quickening Spirit, 



VII.] REDEMPTION. S113 

The overshadowing Power of the Most HigK, 

Herself the chosen vessel ; and to watch 

The deepening blush of childlike innocence, 

As slowly to herself she realized 

The bliss immense vouchsafed her, not unmixed so 

With bitter anguish from a faithless world. 

It has been mine to guard her low estate, 

As month by month within her virgin womb 

She bore the promise of her Lord. Nor now, 

Albeit the mystery of mysteries, 

For which eternity has waited, dawns, 

Is the veil rent in twain. The tree of life 

Must strike its roots in secret in the earth : 

The well-spring gush from hidden depths. Not all 

Heaven's radiant ministries, but spirits elect 90 

As yet are advertised, the Son of God 

Incarnate tabernacles among men : 

Far less the powers of darkness, now elate, 

Finding the rigid interdict relaxed, 

Or rather with less pains transgressed, that fenced 

The bodies of their slaves from violence. 

Demons possess demoniacs : thou hast seen 

Their victims tossed and driven by fiends malign 

To worse than frenzy : and on this intent 

For the most part the myriads of the damn'd 100 

Heed not this fateful hour. Far otherwise 

Their leader and his fallen thrones are filFd 

With torment and remorseless fear, and scheme 

Their uttermost to thwart Eternal Love : 






214 REDEMPTION. [BOOK 

Which work to counterwork is ours. But now 

Come, brother, let us hasten where the tryst 

Of friends awaits us on the grassy slopes 

Of Bethlehem, and, as is meet, announce 

Messiah's humble birth to humble men, 

The shepherds, who there hold nocturnal watch/ no 

" So swifter than the eagle's flight we flew 
Over the shadowy landscape, and there found, 
As he had said, a heavenly cohort arm'd, 
And keeping by command that region free 
From footstep or from wing unblest. Forthwith 
Gabriel diffused unwonted lustre round, 
And in the glory of that light appeared, 
Though softening all the terrors of his brow, 
Not less than heaven's elect ambassador, 
Heralding tidings of eternal joy ; — 1 20 

Which, even as he utter'd, all the band 
Of angels, suddenly apparent, caught 
And set to music of seraphic harps, 
Pure crystal symphonies of joy and love, 
Until the waves of Hallelujah moved 
The orient clouds, and gathering strength rang out 
Among the golden stars, and travelling on 
Held for a space the tongues of cherubim 
Mute for delight before the throne of God. 

" Soon from that throne, through clouds of glory 
stealing, 130 



VII.] REDEMPTION. '215 

The whispers of the Spirit of God were heard ; 

And Suriel moving at that still small voice 

Took of the lamps, that ever blaze beside 

The altar of celestial frankincense, 

Symbols of love enkindling endless praise, 

And from that lucid sphere descending sloped 

His course to earth, where on the nightly plain 

Chaldeans watchers read the starry heavens ; 

And holding in his hand that torch, which seemed 

As if a planet brighter than its peers 140 

Had wandered from its path, viewless himself, 

Allured their steps, whose minds were t aught of God, 

Until their weary pilgrimage at last 

Was ended with unutterable joy 

Before the Royal Babe of Bethlehem. 

" Why should I tell thee what thou know'st ? His 
flight 
To Egypt's house of bondage ; and return 
'Neath angel wings to lowly Nazareth ? 
No palace home was His. No menials nursed 
His childhood. Mary kept her secret close, 150 

Or only breathed thereof in prayer to God, 
Yet watched her gentle meditative Child, 
Unlike yet like His brethren (for they err 
Who deem her firstborn Son her only one), 
With love beyond a mother's. Holiness 
Breathed in His meek aspect. No passion wrought 
To fret His bosom. Never a word of guile 



216 REDEMPTION. [BOOK 

Sullied His lips. Pure, harmless, undefiled, 

He loved of all things best to be alone, 

And oft would hie Him to the fields, and there 160 

Ponder and pray. And, when the Sabbath came, 

Such gleams of glory in the synagogue 

Played on His blessed countenance, as if 

Conversing with the Invisible, mouth to mouth, 

That I have seen His virgin mother's eyes 

Fix'd on Him, till they flowed with tears of joy. 

But chiefly, when the yearly festivals 

Drew them to Zion, a mysterious awe, 

A child's most tender awe, the awe of love, 

Seem'd to dilate His swelling breast, the while 170 

He trod, as One at home, His Father's courts. 

" Years pass'd ; and still He grew in grace : yet still 
His brethren knew Him not. His perfect love 
Disturb'd them ; and they oftener chose consort 
With those, whose goodness was not all unstain'd. 
They quail'd before His gentleness. But when 
Their father sank beneath the weight of years, 
As sinks the sun behind the autumn hills, 
Then in that darken'd home the Light of Light 
Diffused its softest radiance. He it was, 180 

Who bound up with the tenderest balms of love 
His mother's bleeding heart ; who mix'd His tears 
With those that chased adown His sisters' cheeks, 
Till sorrow's self grew calm ; and He, who first 
Summoned His brethren to the needful toil, 



VII.] REDEMPTION. 217 

Toil shared by Him, their common heritage. 

And when He spake with such unfaltering faith 

Of that celestial Paradise, wherein 

Their father now was walking, even as One 

Familiar with its living founts and fruits, 1 90 

The bitterness of grief was gone, and death's 

Dark portal was the golden gate of life. 

" But if they saw and marvelled, how with us 
Who knew Him what He was, the Son of God ? 
Brother, our hearts were bow'd within us. Pride, 
That deadliest upas, that sought cast its shade 
Over angelic natures though elect, 
Withered before that wondrous spectacle. 
It was not only grace we saw, but grace 
That failed not in a world of selfishness ; 200 

Nor only light, but light in poisonous air 
Miraculously burning, self-sustained ; 
Nor faith alone, but faith, emptying itself, 
Itself to strengthen in Another's might ; 
Self-limited Omnipotence, that deigned, 
Weak even as man is weak, to lean on God. 
Messiah praying : — brother, I have watch'd 
His lips moving, until my very soul 
Clave to Him with intensity of love ; 
And heard Him plead for those He came to save. 210 
Until of all hard tasks the hardest seem'd 
Not to go trumpet -tongued, and summon all 
To fall and worship at His sacred feet. 



218 REDEMPTION. [BOOK 

u But now His time was come : His herald, John, 
Who, like Elias, in the wilderness 
Had nursed his kingly soul to kingly deeds 
Heroic, came, the voice before the Word, 
Crying, ' Kepent, the kingdom is at hand/ 
God's Spirit echoed the warning, and the cry 
Struck sharp on human hearts, like steel on flint : 220 
And crowds, their sins bewailing, thronged the man 
Whose hand explored the secret womb of thought, 
And in whose dreadless eye eternity 
Glared upon time. Men ask'd men, i Is there space 
To flee the wrath to come?' Jerusalem 
Hurried to Jordan. Ah, what deeds of wrong 
Lips, counted by their fellows pure as babes, 
Flung there upon the startled winds ! What filth 
Was washed away from penitential hearts 
In that baptismal stream ! But now, behold, 230 

To our amaze among the crowds we saw 
The spotless Son of Mary. John, abashed, 
Shrank from the suit He urged. But He refused 
Refusal. And, as from the shallow ford 
Returning on the bank He knelt in prayer, 
Lo, on a sudden the blue heavens were rent, 
Unfolding to the very throne of God, 
And (time and space subjected now to love) 
The Spirit descending in corporeal shape, 
Dove-like alighted on His sacred head, 240 

A Dove of plumage whiter than the light : 
And from the depths of glory came the Voice 









VII.] REDEMPTION. 219 

Of the Eternal Father, ' This is He, 
My well-beloved, My Son, My souPs delight/ 
This voice celestial, this celestial form, 
Alone of all those thronging* multitudes 
John heard and saw ; while Gabriel with his hosts 
Shielded the spot from helFs malignant thrones, 
Who pined in vain, confounded auditors 
Of words which knelPd their doom. But straight their 
prince, 250 

Like some great warlike chief repulsed, who makes 
His failure instant cause for fresh assaults 
Or deadlier stratagems, recalled his peers 
To their dark council chamber wrapt in clouds, 
Whence issuing after long consult, a smile 
Of baleful hope upon his faded brow, 
He sought the designated Son of God. 

" Meanwhile from Jordan's farther banks the Christ, 
With His own thoughts communing, thoughts impregn'd 
And glorified by the incumbent Spirit, 260 

Which in His sevenfold plenitude of grace, 
Life, light, power, wisdom, counsel, fear, and love, 
Immeasurable on Him abode, was led 
Eastward towards the wilds of Araby. 
Hour after hour He walked lonely, nor felt 
Or weariness or want : such bursting hopes 
Of His unparalleled emprise surcharged 
His bosom. And, when nightfall unawares 
Came down upon the rocky wilderness, 



220 BEDEMPTIOX. [BOOK 

He, like the solitary Jacob, laid 270 

His head upon a stone and slept : but dreams 

Diviner than the pilgrim patriarch saw 

Visited His bleak couch, we camping near. 

And, when the morning broke, He rose refreshed, 

His first thoughts like the fragrant incense borne 

Up to His Father's presence. Onward still, 

As One guided invisibly, He pressed, 

Nor ate nor hungered. Thus a second day 

Passed, and a third ; till Nebo's barren cliffs 

And rugged precipices barrM in front 280 

His prospect. But, as night again descended, 

And on a stony pillow as before 

Messiah sought repose, we were aware 

Of change and peril imminent. Thick clouds, 

Dragging their vaporous skirts along the hills, 

Blotted the stars ; and distant thunders roused 

The beasts of rapine from their lairs, whose roar 

Seemed ever nearer on the moaning blast. 

The darkness was not all of earth : winged forms 

Unhallowed passed us in the thickening gloom. 290 

We watched in doubt, unweeting what designs 

The foe was hatching. But, when morn approached, 

And Jesus through the twilight walked abroad, 

Far other visions than the last appeared 

To' have haunted His night hours. His calm aspect 

A\ as troubled; and in place of joy His eve 

Flashed with the wrath of tempted innocence 

Indignant. Not the brooding: wintry storm, 



VII.] REDEMPTION. 221 

That beat in gusts upon His sacred head, 

Vex'd Him whose spirit was swept with fiercer winds ; 300 

Nor yet the lion's baffled growl, that slunk 

From Gabriel's sword into the tangled brake ; 

Nor pangs of hunger, for in that stern strife 

He felt them not. But now the Arch-fiend wove 

His subtlest machinations, flinging shafts 

Incessant of all racking doubts and fears, 

The tempter wielding archangelic powers, 

The Tempted in weak human flesh enshrined. 

Night came, but night was terrible as day ; 

And sleep, but sleep was worse than waking thoughts : 3 10 

Nor one day only, nor yet seven, nor seven 

Twice told or thrice ; but forty days and nights 

That conflict inexpressible was waged, 

No avenue of reason unassail'd, 

No bolt from that wide quiver's mouth unshot : 

All, all in vain. Then inly to himself 

The devil muttered, as I caught the words, 

' My ghostly weapons fail, let sight and sense 

Avail me, as in Eden/ and relaxed 

His onset. 320 

" Then it was, the urgent stress 
Of battle interrupted, hunger seized 
The fainting Saviour. And His foe and ours, 
No longer unapparent, what remained 
Of his original lustre re-assumed, 
And in his proper shape approached, his aim 



222 REDEMPTION. [BOOK 

Dissembling. ■ If Thou art the Son of God, — 

Nor other can I deem Thee, who hast foiFd 

My uttermost attempt, — our duel now 

Is ended. I confess discomfiture. 

One only proof I ask, not for myself 330 

Who know Thee, but for those who know Thee not, 

One act as innocent in Thee to grant 

As it is reasonable in me to crave ; 

Nay further, necessary for Thy wants, 

Who here wilt perish in the wilderness. 

Change by Thy word this rocky stone to bread. 

Vouchsafe me this ; and henceforth I and mine 

Will leave Thee undisturbed, the Christ of God/ 

" So glozed the tempter. But the Son of Man, 
As man clad in the panoply of faith, 340 

Drew from its sheath the sharp sword of the Spirit, 
And answered, ' It is written, Man shall live 
Not by bread only, but by every word 
Spoken by God/ And Satan shrank abashed : 
For on these very rocks, when bread was not, 
The food of angels, at His voice who spake. 
Had fallen round the tents of Israel. 



" But from the deserts now the spirit of evil, 
God's Spirit permitting, led the Saviour forth 
Invisible, and with speed miraculous 350 

Brought Him to Salem's sanctuary sublime, 



VII.] REDEMPTION. 223 

Where over Kedron's vale the dizzy porch 

Overhung the valley. It was then the feast 

Of tabernacles, and the crowds were spread 

Like aloes by the rivers far beneath, 

While others from Siloah's fountain fetched 

The mystic water in a golden ewer, 

And pour'd it in the temple forth with songs 

Of Hallelujah and exuberant joy. 

There, as they stood upon the utmost ridge, 360 

Thus spake the tempter — c Be it as Thou sayest : 

Thy faith forbids Thee work a work to still 

The cravings of Thy mortal need. For Thee, 

Whether by famine or by violence, 

Death has no terrors. Be it so. But now, 

Not for Thyself, but for Thy chosen race 

I ask Thee, show Thyself the Son of God. 

Cast Thyself down from hence. Angels of light, 

Thou knowest, are about Thee : they will bear, 

As promised in the oracles of truth, 370 

Thee in their hands. I meanwhile will direct 

All eyes upon this lofty battlement ; 

And joyful Israel shall behold her Prince 

Descending with His radiant ministries 

About Him, and shall crown Thee, as foretold, 

The Son of David upon David's throne/ 

" Messiah answered, — ' It is written again, 
Thou shalt not dare to tempt the Lord thy God/ 
Brief words but keen : beneath whose subtle edge 






224 REDEMPTION. [BOOK 

The devil writhed in anguish. But yet one, 380 

One last and damnable assault remained 

And from the holy city quickly' he bore 

The Saviour to that mountain peak, which look'd 

Far over His late solitary watch, 

AVhence Moses, ere he fell on sleep, beheld 

The hills and valleys of the land, with milk 

And honey flowing, to the western sea 

And goodly Lebanon. But now (such skill 

That mighty regent of the air had learned) 

Whether by optical illusion wrought, 390 

Like some mirage of cataracts and lakes 

And gardens in Arabia's barren sands, 

Or suns in mockery flushing Zembla's snows, 

Refraction on refraction multiplied, — 

Or haply* air pictures cunningly disposed 

Within the eye's transparent microcosm, — 

The mode I know not — but the daedal earth, 

With all its mighty realms from pole to pole, 

Illumed with sudden supernatural light, 

Seeni'd lying, kindreds, peoples, nations, tongues, 400 

A gorgeous panorama, scene on scene 

Reflecting splendour, at Messiah's feet, 

And in the twinkling of an eye condensed 

The glories and the miseries of man, 

As in a focus, on His startled soul, 

Moving compassion and amaze at once. 

" Then spake again the tempter, l Not for Thee, 



VII,] REDEMPTION. 225 

Whose meat it is to do Thy Father's will, 

Nor yet for Israel, far too scant a field 

For Thy illimitable sovereign schemes 410 

Of goodness, do I now prefer request ; 

But for the world, the universal world, 

To me committed, as Thou know'st, by One 

Who never of His words or deeds repents : — 

Let these four thousand years of wreck and ruin 

Bear witness. I had fondly thought to hold 

This sceptre as mine own. But let it pass. 

Rather than wage interminable war, 

I yield Thee my dominion. I shall find 

Some other orb untenanted as yet, 420 

Whereon to fix my throne. And for the gift, 

Vouchsafed me first, mine therefore to restore, 

This coveted inheritance, I ask 

But one brief passing act of homage done, 

One transient recognition whence Thou owest 

Thy kingdom. At my feet receive the boon. 

Thou shrinkest ? Why not ? I have seen Thee bow 

To earthly rulers, — by Thy mother's side 

Have seen Thee kneeling. Having stoop' d so low, 

Stoop once again to less indignity 430 

By far than prophecy assigns Thee. Thou 

Already' hast suffer'd much ; Thy gentle spirit 

Amongst ungentle children ; Thy pure youth 

Alien amongst impure ; Thy ripening faith 

Exotic in a faithless world : but all 

# * 

Is nothing, less than nothing - , to the doom 

Q 



226 REDEMPTION. [BOOK 

Before Thee chronicled in scrolls of fate, 

If Thou refuse my offer. Thou wilt stretch 

Thy weary hands, loaden with gifts of life, 

To disobedient and gainsaying men : 440 

Thine own will not receive Thee : cruel craft 

Will dog Thy footsteps : till Thou sink'st at last 

Under distress, dismay, derision, death. 

What, death for Thee, the peerless Prince of life ? 

Truly, though 1 have done fell deeds, — in war 

All things are lawful, — I, though damned, should grieve 

To see death's ghastly weapon pierce Thy heart. 

My Liege, to Thee I owe my being : what 

Of great I am is Thine : why then abhor 

In me to honour Thy own workmanship ? 450 

Fear not, though I have woven countless snares, 

And tangled countless hearts, angels and men, 

With Thee all snares were useless ; and I swear, 

In this my offer lurks nor lure nor guile : 

One insignificant act of homage paid, 

And I retire, and with me all my hosts, 

From earth and earth's precincts. Sole sovereign here 

May'st Thou achieve Thy God-like enterprise, 

Thy Good Spirit recreate this shattered world, 

And earth re-echo Thy Great Father's name. 460 

Nor ever again will I disturb Thy realm : 

I have my gloomy bodings, even as Thou, 

What may ensue, thus struggling without end : 

Weary of horrid war, I long for peace. 

One little act, and I resign Thee all/ 



VII.] REDEMPTION. 227 

" Messiahs words anticipate our thoughts, 
His hand still cleaving to the two-edged sword, 
' Hence, Satan : it is written, Thou shalt serve 
The Lord thy God, and worship only Him/ 
And by the lightning of the Saviour's eye, 470 

Bent full upon the Adversary, we saw 
His desperate repulse. The naked truth 
Had rived his bosom. Gnashing with remorse, 
Slowly, reluctantly, he sank, as sinks 
The angiy tide from off a lighthouse rock, 
Which it has drenched in blinding spray and foam, 
Leaving the light unscathed. And it was ours 
To cluster round that humble Victor's feet, 
And offer fruitage from the vines of heaven, 
And water from the rivulets of life, m> 

And blossoms gathered on their marge ; from me 
He took with smiles a flower of amaranth — 
(As Oriel spake, a blush of deeper rose 
Crimson'd his cheek at the remembered joy) — 
Yea, and to tender sympathies more sweet 
Than flowers, or fruit, or fountains gushing life, 
Wherewith refreshed ere long Messiah bent 
His footsteps to the plains of Galilee. 

" Full of the Spirit He came : His sinless powers 
All quicken'd to the uttermost of man : 490 

His faith transparent without clouds : His love, 
Clear radiance on the altar of His heart, 
Fire without smoke of darkness : prophecies 

Q 2 



228 REDEMPTION. [BOOK 

Of everlasting joy kindling His soul : 

Pure, perfect Manhood. We had often wept 

Tears of delight to see celestial grace 

Struggling and triumphing in weakness ; but 

Some stains had ever with the saintliest saints 

Blotted the story of their life. What need 

To speak of Noah, and of Abraham, 500 

Of Moses, David, Hezekiah, Job, 

Who sometime trailed their garments on the earth, 

Though whiter now than snow ? But here was One 

Faultless though compassed with infirmity, 

In human weakness sinless, who had stooped 

Lower than angelhood in might, but dwarf d 

In uncreated goodness infinite 

The loftiest seraphim : no stern recluse, 

As His forerunner ; but the Guest and Friend 

Of all who sought Him, mingling with all life 5 1 

To breathe His holiness on all. No film 

Obscured His spotless lustre. From His lips 

Truth limpid without error flowed. Disease 

Fled from His touch. Pain heard Him, and was not. 

Despair smiled in His presence. Devils knew, 

And trembled. In the omnipotence of faith 

Unintermittent, indefectible, 

Leaning upon His Father's might, He bent 

All nature to His will. The tempest sank, 

He whispering, into waveless calm. The bread, 520 

Given from His hands, fed thousands and to spare. 

The stormy waters, as the solid rock, 



VII.] KEDEMPTION. 229 

Were pavement for His footstep. Death itself 
With vain reluctancies yielded its prey 
To the stern mandate of the Prince of life. 



" Not that these things are hid from thee : but, brother, 
None but an angel can methinks conceive 
What angels felt as over Him they stoop'd, 
Lost in adoring contemplation. Oft 
Has Gabriel call'd me to his side in awe 530 

At His Divine humility ; which once, 
Once only in His earthly pilgrimage, 
Suffered the shrouded glory to escape 
Its fleshly veil. 

" Once only, on the crest 
Of snowy Hermon as He knelt in prayer, 
His chosen witnesses beheld His form 
Apparelled in its own celestial light, 
More dazzling than the' snows on which it shone, 
When Michael, who on Satan's fall assumed 
At God's command the hierarchal primacy, 54a 

The same who guarded Moses' funeral rites 
And bore Elijah in God's chariot home, 
Brought them, one bodiless, embodied one, 
From Paradise before the other dead, 
To commune with their Lord on His decease 
Now nigh at hand. Then the Shekinah cloud 
Descending, wrapt them in its radiant folds, 



230 



REDEMPTION. 



[book 



And from its excellent glory came a Voice 
1 This is My Son Beloved, hear ye Him/ 



" This Voice we heard, nor we alone who knelt 550 
Near as permitted : fiendish auditors 
Beyond us, in the dusky air suspense, 
Heard it, and quaked in silence : Satan heard 
Confounded, and now, desperate of fraud, 
Seemed only' intent to deal the cruellest bruise 
Immedicable on his Victim's heel, 
His Victor soon. Ranging abroad he stirr'd 
The hosts of darkness to maligner hate, 
Saying, Now was the hinge of battle, now 
The fated hour of doom : one effort more, 560 

And earth, their destined heritage, was theirs. 
Then round him clustered, gloomy body-guard, 
His peers, into whose venomous breasts he fused 
Fresh venom, urging some to wreak worse ill 
On their demoniac slaves, others to w T ind 
Their coils of envy around priestly hearts, 
And others in the path of ruthless men 
To dig quick pitfalls of insensate pride : 
Himself, with Mammon for his minister, 
Tracking the Saviour's steps, and beckoning on, 570 

With lures of miserable gold, a wretch 
Who sprang well pleased into his cursed embrace, 
Judas, the heir of everlasting shame. 



u Once he was cowM ; when scaled with his mates 



VII.] 11EDEMPTI0N. 231 

In council (such were daily now convened) 

Quick tidings reached him, that his fiercest spirits 

Quail'd at the name of Jesus breathed in faith 

By humblest lips. Instantly, whether rage 

Overmastered him, or shadowing fear surprised, 

Down like a meteor or a lightning flash ' 580 

From that aerial height he sank, he fell, — 

Not unobserved by Him whose piercing Eye, 

Scanning the ages, in that lapse beheld 

A presage of his endless fall from heaven 

To the abysmal pit. But Satan soon, 

Collecting his dejected legions, cried, 

The while he spat defiance on his Lord, 

' Do Thou Thy worst : Thou hast not tasted ours'' — 

And without further pause of hate pursued 

His drear deliberations, boding death. 590 

" The hour was almost come. Six days had passed, 
Since from the lonely Ephraim the Lord 
Had sought the house He loved at Bethany, 
Where Martha and her sister dwelt, and he, 
Whose disembodied spirit we some time kept 
Lulled by the wafting of angelic wings, 
As in a dream of undefined delight, 
Until the Word recalPd him : six brief days, 
But every moment big with destiny : 
The peaceful Sabbath ; the night watches spent 600 

With broken intervals in prayer ; the ride 
Of lowly triumph dashed with tears, and songs 



232 REDEMPTION. [BOOK 

Woven with sighs, into Jerusalem ; 

The weary Wayfarer's return afoot 

Over the ridffe of wooded Olivet 

At nightfall ; the surprise of early dawn 

Startling His orisons ; the lonely curse, 

Pregnant with gracious warning, which His lips 

Pronounced ; the sanctuary cleansed anew ; 

The nightly calm; the morrow's stern contest 610 

With stubborn hearts, sheathed in dark unbelief 

Or darker superstition, — crystal truth 

Confuting guile, pure love predicting woes 

Upon impure malignity ; the cry 

' We would see Jesus/ breathed by Gentile lips, 

While on His prescient troubled soul there fell 

The first dark shadows of the vale of death, 

Rugged with tempest ; the suspended prayer, 

Whose dread alternative was death or life, 

Which rested c Father, glorify Thy name •/ 620 

The Voice responsive from the Throne, which filled 

The hearts of prostrate seraphim with awe, 

But fell unheeded upon mortal ears ; 

Until the Lord o' the temple, not before 

He made the widow's heart to sing for joy, 

Forsook His house. As once Ezekiel saw 

The symbol of His awful Presence pause 

Reluctant o'er the threshold, cherub-borne, 

And o'er the city brood like guardian fire, 

And move, and rest upon the hill that lies 630 

Fronting the dawn, — so then on Olivet 



VII.] REDEMPTION. £33 

The weary Saviour rested and forecast 

The anguish coming on Jerusalem, 

The birth-pangs of evangel life, nor left 

That mountain's brow, nor limited the range 

Of His prophetic vision, till He spake 

Of His great Advent in the clouds of heaven. 

That evening, — was it much for her, whose heart 

Was crushed, to crush the alabaster vase ? — 

Mary, with love's foreboding instinct, pour'd 640 

The precious myrrh upon His head and feet, 

And wiped them with her rich dishevelled hair. 

One day of calm seclusion ; and a night 

And morning all unvex'd, albeit the powers 

Of evil thronged the air • but, as the sun 

Swerved westward, Jesus, with the Twelve, set forth 

Towards the city which He loved, the while 

We hung around their footsteps, till they sate 

In silent thought around the Paschal board. 

" Thou knowest all. But when the Son of God, 650 
Equal Assessor of the Father's throne, 
Author and Heir of all things, girt Himself, 
Stoop'd, and the Servant of His servants, washed 
Their feet, we gazed upon the awful scene 
In terrible amazement, till His words 
Recalled us to the Infinite of love 
Which dwelt within Him and in which He dwelt, 
Making, it seemed, all other humbleness 
Appear too high, all other love too low. 



234 11EDEMPTI0N. [BOOK 

But now the Paschal lamb was eaten, now 660 

The wine-cups fiird and drunk ; when He, who knew 

What was in man, and from that hour looked forth 

Upon the ages of all time, ordained 

Those holy mysteries of bread and wine, 

The banquet of His body and His blood, 

The ever fresh memorials of His death 

To faith instinct with life, and quick with love, 

Symbols of eucharistic sacrifice, 

The sacramental oath of fealty, 

The bond of brotherhood, the pledge of heaven. 670 

" Alas, far different fruit those emblems now 
Wrought in the traitor ! Satan, who ere this 
Had visited his heart nor met repulse, 
Now readily assumed the ready throne, 
And swayed him willing to his will. The light 
Was torment : and alone he staggered forth 
Into the darkness on his dark intent. 

" And now from lips, which spake as never man, 
Flowed words of inexpressible tenderness 
Mingled with powder, w r hile more than human love, 680 
Clothing itself in human language, poured 
Immortal comforts into mortal hearts, 
Until they overflowed in tears. And then 
The Great High Priest, with eyes uplift to heaven, 
Standing as if the mystic veil were rent 
Before the seat of mercy, in full view 



VII.] ItEDEMPTION. 235 

Of those He loved, pleaded their cause with One 

Who loved them even as Himself ; nor stayed 

Before He breathed that wonderful ( I will' 

Which draws His children hither as their work 690 

Is finished, spring of countless tears on earth, 

And harvests sown in weeping reaped in joy. 

" Meanwhile the moon had risen full-orb'd : and they, 
Passing through lights and shadows, bent their steps 
Along the city's now deserted streets 
To Kedron's vale ; over the brook ; where wound 
The mountain path to Olivet : and there 
Upon the right a garden, into which 
They enter'd, olive-set Gethsemane. 

" But wherefore now with trembling lips recall 700 
That scene of unimaginable woe ? 
The summons of the chosen three ; the moan 
Of mortal anguish from the Lord of life ; 
The vigil, tenderly enjoin'd in vain ; 
The agony of prayer ; the bloody sweat, 
Wrung from His sacred brow and trembling limbs 
By griefs, which no created mind can sound ; 
The cry, when that exceeding bitter cup 
Sear'd as hot iron His lip ; the human soul 
Quivering, until from the unfolding heavens 
A seraph (which of the empyreal thrones 7 10 

We knew not, for upon that awful quest 
His mantling' win^s had too securely veil'd 



236 REDEMPTION. [BOOK 

His presence and his face perplex'd with tears. 

And his dear Master's look sufficed for praise) 

Descending knelt beside that kneeling Form 

And strengthened Him : and through the moonlight stole 

The slow, the tremulously balanced words, 

' Not My will, O My Father, Thine be done/ 

Once and again. 

" The first sharp paroxysm, 
As Death infixed his keen envenomed sting 720 

Full in the bosom of Eternal Life, 
Was over. Folio w'd now the traitor's kiss ; 
The binding of Omnipotence ; the stroke 
Of Peter, kept from rash repeat by words 
That thrill'd our hearts, and sheathed more swords than his 
Each in its scabbard ; the apostles' flight ; 
The hurried Sanhedrim ; the viewless fiends, 
Thronging that hall and plying all their arts 
On men abandon'd to their cursed will ; 
The strength of one, who lean'd upon himself, 730 

Found wanting ; meantime falsehood bearding Truth ; 
The Lamb of God silent ; the faith which look'd 
From that tribunal to the final bar : 
And, as the cold grey morning struggled through, 
The guiltless Sufferer bound, and rudely dragg'd 
From court to court, abhorr'd, accused, reviled, 
Until that proud contemptuous Roman heart 
Yielded to those infuriate cries, and gave 
The Man of sorrows up to bitter death. 



VII.] REDEMPTION. 237 

" Woe, brother, woe for those, who against hope 740 
Ere this in hope persisted ! One of us 
Was summoned to the wretched traitor's end, 
And by command led forth his damned spirit 
To its own place of doom. But we, the rest, 
Forbidden longer to oppose the worst, 
Could only follow with those weeping few 
Who hung around the footsteps of their Lord, 
Amazed, appalPd. We saw the weary cross 
Laid on His fainting strength, His sacred limbs 
Ruthlessly stripped, His quivering hands and feet 750 
Pierced with the cruel nails, while words of love, 
Father, forgive who know not what they do, 
Fell from His agonized lips. And now 
The cross was raised. And there, betwixt two thieves 
The Increate Creator of all worlds, 
The Son of the Eternal Father, hung 
BetrayM, bereft, beleaguered, crucified. 

te Thou weepest, brother : well thou may'st. My tears 
With thine are flowing. But in that first hour 
No angel wept. Sorrow itself was numVd 760 

Within us : while the bitter jests and taunts 
Of soldiers, priests, and reckless passers by, 
And curses muttered from between clenched teetli 
Fell ever on the meek Redeemer's ears, 
A pitiless storm. But, when upon His right, 
Gazing upon His superhuman love 
Till the hard stone was crushed and contrite, one 



238 REDEMPTION. [BOOK 

Of those who hung beside His cross rebuked 

His fellow, and cried, ' Lord, remember me/ 

And, firstfruits of His dying anguish, drew 770 

Life from that bleeding sacrifice ; and when 

The Saviour, looking on the faithful group 

That clustered at His feet, tenderly gave 

His mother to His friend, — the sight unseal'd 

The frozen springs of sorrow, and we wept. 

" Was love stronger than death ? Upon that cross 
They grappled as in final strife. For now 
Hell put forth all its malice, and let loose 
Its gathered vengeance. All the air was dense 
With fiends ; and blackness, blacker than the night 780 
Which Moses' rod on smitten Egypt drew, 
Dismayed the heavens : such delegated power 
Had Satan, regent of the air, and all 
The gloomy hosts of darkness at his beck 
Hemming the Saviour round. And, as the load 
Immense, intolerable, of the world's sin, 
Casting its dreadful shadow high as heaven, 
Deep as Gehenna, nearer and more near 
Grounded at last upon that Sinless Soul 
With all its crushing weight and killing curse, 79<> 

Then first, from all eternity then first, 
From His beloved Son the Father's face 
Was slowly' averted, and its light eclipsed ; 
And through the midnight broke the Sufferer's groan, 
Eli, Eli, la in a wt ha ch Hi ant f 






VII.] REDEMPTION. 238 

The echo was the mockeries of hell, 

Reverberate in human lips. We heard, 

And shuddered. Gabriel leaned on me a space, 

And hid his face within my vesture's folds, 

As if the sight were all too terrible 800 

Even for archangelic faith. But now 

Once more the agonizing Victim moan'd, 

Uttering His anguish in one dreadful plaint, 

/ thirst ; His last : for, when the cooling sponge 

Had touched His lips, a loud and different cry, 

As if of triumph, It is finish' d, rang 

Upon our startled ears ; and with a child's 

Confiding tender trustfulness, that breathed 

Father, to Thy hands I commend My spirit, 

He bow'd His head, and yielded up the ghost. 810 

" Earth quaked. The rocks were rent. The graves of 
saints 
Were open'd. And the temple's mystic veil 
Was riven in view of worshippers and priests, 
Disclosing things unseen. Ere long the spear 
Open'd the fountain in the Saviour's side, 
And soon that holy tabernacle lay, 
Like a deserted temple, cold and still, 
In Joseph's rock-hewn tomb. But, brother, who 
Of angels can describe what next ensued, 
When Jesus breathed His last upon the cross, 820 

In the throng'd firmament of spirits ? Straightway 
Around His disembodied soul the powers 



240 KEDEMPTIOX. [BOOK 

Of darkness swarm'cl, and Satan face to face 

With burning falchion barr'd His path. One look, 

Mere virtue bent on mere maliciousness, 

Pierced him like lightning, and shot withering fire 

Among his blasted hosts. Distraught they stood, 

Insensible, one moment ; and then fell 

From round Him, as the billow^ s cloven pride 

Falls in thick spray from off the vessel's prow 830 

By northern blasts, as by the arm of fate, 

Driven towards the port of refuge. Fain had we 

Accompanied His steps. His warning hand 

Restrained us. Lonely He had fought the fight ; 

And lonely He must stoop to strip the slain, 

And lonely gather up the spoils of death. 

u Immediate, quickened in His human spirit, 
More swiftly than the swiftest seraph's wing, 
With speed akin to thought journeying He passed 
Adown the firmament al heavens, and through 840 

The maze of constellations, and, or ever 
His stiffening corse was from the tree unloosed, 
Had traversed the dark avenue that leads 
Straight to the adamantine doors of hell. 
These opened to His advent, and beneath 
Their awful archway He descended ; and. 
As downward through the lurid air He oped 
His discontinuous path, beneath Him lay 
The ruins and the w r recks of sin. And then 
Full on His naked soul His Father's Eve sso 



VII.] REDEMPTION, 241 

Rested with uneclipsed unclouded blaze, 

Rested and found no flaw, no film of dark, 

No jar, no discord, no antagonism, 

But light to light responsive, beam to beam, 

And love in faultless unison with love, 

Perfection imaging Perfection : whence, 

Not agony as with the damned perforce, 

But trust, and peace, and joy too deep for words. 

" Around Him devils and lost souls stood thronging, 
Under God's custody compelled that hour 860 

To gather from the farthest vaults of hell, 
And witness His descent, whose calm aspect 
Might crush all hope, not wholly dead before, 
That Satan in the conflict waged on earth 
Should win some transient triumph, and unbar 
Their prison. But when now they saw their Lord 
Strengthless, for so He seemed, as they themselves, 
Dark thoughts possessed them to seize fast their prey, 
And hold Him hostage for their own escape — 
Proof that no hell can change the lost. But lo, 870 

The Son of God upon that cursed soil, 
In human weakness though Almighty, knelt, 
And gazing up into His Father's face 
Pleaded for rescue from that dark sojourn 
Among the dead. And instantly His prayer, 
As Jonah's issuing from the ocean depths, 
Rose like a cloud of incense high within 
Heaven's temple. Then the empyrean shook ; 

R 



242 HEDEMPTION. [BOOK 

The everlasting hills trembled ; the heavens 

Were bow^d beneath His glory, who came down 880 

Upon the wings of Cherubim, in wrath, 

Darkness beneath His feet, lightnings before, 

And round about Him clouds, which from their shirts 

Shot hailstones and thick burning coals of fire 

Among His enemies : while at their feet 

The solid yawned with fissures, and disclosed 

A lower depth of fire unquenchable, 

Gehenna's lake, soon hidden ; but the sight, 

Once seen, was shadow of the second death. 

And now the right hand of Omnipotence 890 

Was laid in love upon His Only Son, 

And drew Him from among His stricken foes, 

And from that vast profound, and o'er that gulf 

Untravell'd by created wing, that lies 

Betwixt that land of utter death and ours, 

Athwart that billowy chasm, over these hills 

And triple battlements of Paradise : 

And, ere on earth the Sabbath eve began, 

The Saviour met the sinner He had saved, 

And welcomed him beneath the trees of life. 900 

" Now was there joy and jubilant delight 
In that fair Eden. Now was come the hour, 
For which four thousand years had look'd and long'd, 
Since first the solitary Abel trod 
These hills and plains. Placid had been that rest, 
And calm that haven after life's rough sea, 



VII.] REDEMPTION. 243 

Each one at will, in holy solitude 

Reposing*, or with the other saintly spirits 

Walking in blissful converse. Age by age 

Earth yielded hither her choicest and her best, 910 

And here the angels on their ministries 

Passed ever to and fro. But till the Word 

Had conquered death, He came not to the dead 

In excellence of glory manifest, 

Though there, as every where, in power and spirit : — 

Haply such advent had not all beseemed 

The Lord of life : — howbeit they saw not God, 

As saints thereafter saw His face and lived, 

But rather walked by faith like those on earth ; 

And oftentimes the craving cry s How long ? ' 920 

Of souls beneath the altar rose to heaven. 

Judge then their ecstasy of joy, when now, 

Apparent in a human form like theirs, 

The Saviour stood amongst them, and proclaimed, 

The fight was foughten, and the victory won. 

" From realm to realm of that great under-world 
That day He journeyed. No one but received 
Some token of His love. And, as He passed 
That lonely vale with its own gates recluse, 
Wherein the disembodied spirits in ward, 930 

Who once were disobedient ere the flood, 
Waited His advent with intenser hope, 
He entered and revealed Himself, their Lord, 
Besought, too late, for rescue in the ark, 

iv 'I 



244 REDEMPTION, [BOOK 

But not for mercy ere they died, which same 
Now bade them join the other Blessed Dead. 



u This was His latest work. For now the hour 
Predestined summoned Him again to earth : 
And, followed with innumerable songs 
Of blessing, through the gates of Paradise, 940 

And all along its glorious avenue, 
Lonely He passed, and through the subject heavens 
(His foes still cowering from their sore defeat) 
To the lone chamber of the tomb. 

" The sun 

Had not yet risen ; but in the golden East 

The morning star was tricking his soft lamp, 

Like some fair pearl with amber overlaid, 

When through the twilight slid the hurrying steps 

Of women bearing to the sepulchre 

Unguents, and spice, and balm. Suddenly the' earth 950 

Trembled and shook : and Gabriel, such his charge, 

Descending from our airy watch rolFd back 

The sealed stone, and, with his glory, cast 

In a dead swoon the guards. Abashed, confused, 

The women, seeing, saw not ; hearing, they 

Heard not : save only she of Magdala 

Hasted, and ran, a breathless messenger, 

To those who mourned Him sorest. Quickly these 

Ran, love outstripping ardour, to the spot, 



VII.] REDEMPTION. 215 

And found the empty sepulchre. Love mused ; 960 

Faith marvelFd ; but persistent Grief remained, 

Weeping beside that desolated tomb. 

Her heart lay buried there. He was her all, 

Who in her helpless hopeless misery 

Had sometime passed her by, and spake the word, 

And set the hell-bound captive free. Henceforth 

She loved Him with a holy clinging love, 

Stronger than death. With broken heart she stood 

Brokenly moaning at His cross : she heard 

His dying cry. Alas, the weary night ! 970 

The long interminable day of rest ! 

The mournful task of mingling that rich myrrh ! 

The stifled doubt, could a dead Saviour save ? 

She crushed the maddening thought, and only clung 

The closer to the sepulchre : and now 

Weeping she leaned upon the cold grey stone, 

And, stooping, looked within. 

" There two of us, 
Where the dear body of our Lord had lain, 
Sate robed in radiant white. Little she recked 
Of angel ministries who sought her Lord : 990 

And when we ask'd, ' Woman, why weepest thou ? J 
She uttered her one plaint, Q He is not here/ 
But turning mournfully away beheld 
One whom she knew not, for the sluice of tears 
Had drenched her eyelids : and He likewise askM, 
' Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?'' 



246 REDEMPTION. [BOOK 

She answered ; when the Stranger turned and said, 
' Mary/ She started, and, in one deep cry, 
Breathing her incommunicable bliss, 
6 Rabboni/ fell before His feet, and fain 990 

Had clasp'd them. 

u But not now as heretofore, 
The human intercourse vouchsafed on earth ; 
Nor was He to His Father's throne in heaven 
That hour ascending. Yet a little space 
Emmanuel tabernacled among men 
To solace and sustain His orphan Church, 
To heal the bleeding heart of penitence, 
To cheer the downcast wayfarers, to stand 
Suddenly as a spirit, but very Man 
Among His brethren, and imbreathe on them 100 

The benediction of His peace and power, 
To transform human fear to heavenly faith, 
To conquer doubt by love, a second time 
To teach His chosen fishermen to cast 
The drag-net of the kingdom, to reveal 
Himself unto His own in Galilee, 
Where He had laboured longest ; thence 
Returning to Jerusalem, once more 
To lead His loved apostles o'er the slope 
Of Olivet to sacred Bethany; 10 10 

And, ere He left them in that world of sin, 
Irradiate with the bow of heavenly hope 
Their watching*, and their warfare, and their woes. 



VII.] REDEMPTION. 247 

i€ It was a golden eventide. The sun 
Was sinking through the roseate clouds to rest 
Beneath the Western waves. But purer light 
And vestments woven of more glorious hues, 
Albeit invisible to mortal eyes, 

Gladdened the heavens. For there the hosts of God, 
Ten thousand times ten thousand, tier on tier, J 020 

MarshalFd by Gabriel, fill'd the firmament ; 
The lowest ranks, horses and cars of fire, 
Circling Mount Olivet ; and next to these 
A body-guard of flaming seraphim, 
And hierarchal thrones ; and after them 
Celestial armies without number stretched 
In infinite ascent aloft, their swords 
Sheathed by their side (for, like an eagle scared, 
No foe on that great triumph moved the wing, 
Opened his mouth, or peeped), and in their hand 1030 
The palm of victory and the harp of praise : 
While through their thronging multitudes there oped 
A path of crystal glory, all perfumed 
With love and breezy raptures, such as heaven 
Had never known. But every eye was bent 
Upon the Saviour, as He stood amongst 
The apostolic group, and lifted up 
His hands and blessed them, and in blessing rose, 
No wind, no car, no cherubim of fire 
Ministrant, in His Father's might self-moved, 1040 

Into the glowing sky ; until a cloud 
Far floating in the zenith, which had drunk 



248 11EDEMPTI0N. [BOOK 

Of the last sunbeams, wrapt His radiant form, 

And instantly became like light itself, 

Then melted into viewless air. But we, 

Closing around His path, with shouts of joy 

Rose with Him through the subjugated heavens, 

The desolate domains of Lucifer, 

And through the starry firmament, whose orbs, 

Vibrating with the impulse of our march, io50 

Resounded Hallelujahs and flashed fires 

Of welcome — a procession such as earth 

Saw never, nor had heaven beheld till now — 

Observing each his place, yet each one near 

The Prince of glory, who was near to each, 

His Omnipresent Eye on every face 

Shedding His rapture ; ever soaring higher, 

And singing as we soared, until we reached 

The confines of the third celestial sphere, 

Shut in by gates of pearl, transcending these 1060 

Of Paradise, as these surpass the porch 

Of the first Eden. There aloof, around, 

Thronging the arch on this side and on that, 

Was Michael with a host equal to ours, 

Sent from the heavenly Zion. Onward still 

We swept like clouds over an azure sky, 

And to the sound of martial trumpets sang 

Exultingly, ' Lift up your heads, ye gates ! 

Be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors ! 

Up, and the King of glory shall come in/ 1070 

Immediate, like an echo from those rankb 



VII.] REDEMPTION. 249 

Guarding the heavenly citadel, the voice 

Of myriads perfectly attuned as one, 

Came back the peal of joyful challenge, ' Who, 

"Who is the King of glory ?' — and from ours 

The jubilant response, ' The Lord of hosts, 

Mighty in battle' against the powers of hell, 

Jehovah, King of glory ! Lift your heads ! 

Be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors ! 

Up, and the King of glory shall come in/ ioso 

' Who is the King of glory V yet again 

Peal'd from those opening gates. ' The Lord of hosts ; 

He is the King of glory/ broke once more 

In waves of thunder on those jasper walls, 

Which never shook till now. And, host with host 

Commingling, through the portals on we swept, 

And through the city of the King of kings, 

The streets of golden crystal tremulous 

Beneath the nimble tread of seraphim, 

And eager principalities and powers, logo 

And cohorts without number, till we came 

Into the heavenly temple (space enough 

Beneath its comprehensive dome for all 

God's ministries and more than all twice told 

In order ranged) : and then the Great High Priest 

Alone advancing with His precious blood 

Touch' d, as it seem'd, the spotless mercy-seat ; 

And lo, the Everlasting Father rose, 

Diffusing beams of joy ineffable, 

Which centred on His Son, His only Son, noo 



250 REDEMPTION. 

And rising to His bosom folded Him 

(If acts of Him the Increate can thus 

Be duly in our language shadowed forth) 

And set Him at His own right hand : while clouds, 

Breathing Divine ambrosial fragrance, filPd 

The temple, and awoke in every heart 

Bliss inconceivable of silent praise. 

" Much, brother, could I tell what then and there 
Befell in heaven : and chiefly how the Son 
Cleansed with the virtue of His blood those courts i no 
Which had defilement from the access thither 
Of spirits accurst, and having cleansed them bless'd 
With unction of the Holy One, and then 
Uttered His irreversible decree, 

Which henceforth from those holiest precincts barrel 
Entrance of ill. But yet remains untold 
The warfare which ensued in earth and heaven : 
And in the age of ages yet to come 
Often shall we resume the wondrous tale, 
Which now I touch so briefly, of the past." 1120 



END OF THE SEVENTH BOOK. 



251 



BOOK VIII. 

THE CHURCH MILITANT. 

A vaunt thee, horrid War : whose miasms, bred 

Of nether darkness and Tartarean swamps, 

Float o'er this fallen world and blight the flowers, 

Sole relics of a ruin'd Eden ! Hence 

With all thy cruel ravages ! fair homes 

Rifled for thee of husband, brother, son ; 

Wild passions slipped like hell-hounds in the heart, 

And baying in full cry for blood ; the shock 

Of battle ; the quick throes of dying men ; 

The ghastly stillness of the mangled dead; 10 

The crumbling ramparts breached, the city stormed, 

The massacre of unresisting age, 

The shrieks of violated innocence, 

And bloom, almost too delicate for the print 

Of bridal kisses and the touch of love, 

Ruthlessly trampled underneath the heel 

Of armed lust ; and, pitiful to see, 

The mother's womb ripp'd by the pitiless sword, 

And life — her unborn offspring's and her own™ 



252 THE CHUltCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

Shed in short mortal travail ; lurid flames, 20 

Wrapping the toils of arduous centuries 

And hopes of ages in one funeral pyre ; 

Gaunt famine after, and remorseless plague, 

Reaping their myriads where the warrior's scythe 

Had been content with thousands ; leaving scars 

Upon a nation's heart, which never time 

Wholly can heal : hence horrid, horrid War ! 

But, as I mused, there crowded on my spirit 

The lofty virtues nursed in strife ; the will 

That breaks but bends not ; goodness even in death 30 

Abhorring evil ; right defying wrong ; 

The stern self-sacrifice of souls afire 

For perill'd altars and for hearths profaned ; 

The generous chivalry, which shields the weak, 

And dares the' oppressor's worst ; love guarding love 

From rapine, or, as God's executor, 

Dealing forth vengeance on the stubborn foe, 

And mercy to the vanquish' d ; all along 

The ages, names the noblest and the best 

From Israel's chiefs to those brave men whose swords 40 

Have been the bulwark of my native isle ; 

Till musing I exclaim'd, O righteous War, 

Thou immemorial school of deathless deeds, 

Not thee I censure, nor thy sons, but those 

Dark powers of evil, who awoke thee first 

From thy eternal slumbers undisturb'd, 

Leaning remiss upon thy stainless spear 

Hard by God's seat : not thee or thine I blame, 






VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 253 

Not thee, — Jehovah is a man of war, 

Nor thine, — Jehovah is the Lord of hosts. 50 

Howbeit not of war in earth or heaven, 
After a grateful interlude, where thought 
Flowed onward to its own sweet rhythm, at first 
Oriel discoursed ; but of the Sevenfold Spirit 
"Who, in similitude of burning lamps, 
Burning before the sapphire Throne, appeared 
At signal of His voice who sate thereon, 
To move, His glory's effluence part veiled 
And part translucent in a radiant cloud, 
While through the ranks of prostrate hierarchs 60 

Descending from the heaven of heavens He came, 
And with a sound of mighty rushing wind, 
And likeness as of fiery tongues, diffused 
In His Divine munificence of gifts 
The brightness of His Presence, and enwreath'd 
Each suppliant's head with flame. By the same Spirit 
Impregn'd, as if his lips were touch' d with fire, 
My guardian spake with an enthusiast joy 
Of those first Pentecostal days, that morn 
After such long millennial watches haiFd, 70 

That burst of dewy spring unchilPd by frost ; 
That garden water'd by the early rain, 
And tended by the risen ascended Lord, 
The rosy childhood of His bride, the gush 
Of pure first love untinctured by the world, 



254< THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

"When silvery Hope whispered in angel hearts. 
The time was short, the kingdom was at hand. 

" Where, brother, thou wilt ask," Oriel pursued, 
"Where, meanwhile, lurked the powers of darkii* 

Crushed 
They lay, and scattered for a week of years, 80 

And of their buoyant life utterly drained 
By that intolerable mortal stroke 
The Saviour's spirit, enfranchised on the cross 
From the rent tabernacle of His flesh, 
Dealt in one gaze around. Six years and more, 
Smit by that ^scathing agony, they cower'd, 
Irresolute, disheartened, disarrayed, 
The spoilers spoiPd, the thrones of hell dethroned, 
And all their routed hosts wandering astray, 
In earth or air, a spectacle of shame. 90 

But then (so Wisdom Infinite ordained), 
Time soothing their disastrous wound, of all 
Satan the first recalled his drooping pride, 
And, gazing on earth's battle-field, renewed 
His desperate counsels. All appeared not lost, 
While ruin out of ruin yet might rise, 
As thus, conferring with his own dark thoughts 
And gathering courage from his daring words, 
Upon the height of Lebanon he mused : 

" ' Satan, bethink thee who thou art. To faint 100 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 255 

Were weaker than thy vassaPs weakness. Man 

For a few years' abandonment to lust, — 

Prodigious venture, — risks eternal flames. 

And shalt thou yield, thus alway respited 

From age to age ? Who knows not, but for ever ? 

Omniscience, as it seems, can only read 

Futurity but dimly. Hath the Cross 

Drawn, as foreshadowed by the Crucified, 

All to His footstool ? I trow not. To thwart 

Love's best, to baffle Mercy's uttermost, no 

This w r ere revenge indeed, worthy the name, 

For the corroding fire His Dreadful Eye 

Has kindled in my secret bosom. Thou, 

Arch-adversary, be thyself once more. 

The crisis challenges despatch : for lo, 

Heaven's sapling strikes its roots deeper each day ; 

The fount of life unseal'd on Zion's hill 

Is ever sending forth fresh rivulets 

Of blessing, — blessing which to me is curse : 

Be mine to blight that tree : be mine to shed 120 

A secret poison in that crystal spring. 

Despair, as hope, breeds counsels. I have found 

Anguish no sluggish spur to thought. Despatch — 

Yet for despatch delay. My faithful hosts 

Are scattered, and my princes, Baalim, 

Apollyon, Ashtaroth, and all their peers, 

Cower till the storm be overblown : with them 

Let me advise how easiest to retard 

The Gospel chariot wheels. Tides flow and ebb : 



256 THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

This now hath reached its flood. The Son hath gone 130 

With His bright ministries to heaven, and there 

By sore experience taught, I dread Him less 

Than walking on this earth in mortal flesh. 

Nor fear I greatly His vicegerent Spirit, 

Whose tongues of harmless lightning seem to' announce 

A different war. Here I put off the last 

Soft remnants of compunction. I have been 

Too generous, too gentle heretofore ; 

But henceforth, rather than the sinuous snake, 

Assume the fiery dragon. If this fail, 140 

As likely' it may, my quiver is not void/ 

ft So saying, his dusky pinions he outspread, 
And rose sublime into his ancient throne 
Set in the starry firmament, and thence 
Called his afflicted mates, who soon, though shorn 
Of their late glory, with unbated rage, 
And eyes that flashed implacable revenge, 
Came at their leader's summons, and ere long 
In dire deliberations sate absorbed. 

" The shadow of that council fell on earth ] 50 

When Stephen, on whose lips the Spirit had breathed 
More of the fire of love than on the rest, 
Was dragged before his nation's Sanhedrim, 
And with seraphic radiance on his face, 
Pleaded his Master's cause, heaven's advocate 
Confronting 1 hell's inexorable bar 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 257 

In vain : but, from that presbytery malign 

And ruthless judge averting his rapt gaze, 

Behold the heavens were opened to his view, 

And with the eagle eye of faith he saw 160 

Within the veil the holy cherubim 

Shadowing the glory of the mercy-seat, 

And on the right the Great High Priest of God, 

Messiah, ministering (vision of bliss 

Ineffable), and, calmly kneeling down, 

Amid those cruel taunts and crushing stones, 

The dying martyr breathed his spirit forth, 

And fell in his Redeemer's arms asleep. 

" This was the signal of that bitter war, 
Which Satan and his re-assembled hosts, 170 

Now urging, now relaxing, the contest, 
Waged to the death for nine long months of years, 
War which upon its scroll of heroes 'nscribed 
Apostles, prophets, seers, evangelists, 
Princes, and peasants of a princely heart, 
Matrons, and maids, and children, till the cross 
Was planted on the battlements of Rome. 
Sore was the tempest ; but the rooted oak, 
Though loaden with the stormy winds and bruised, 
Only more widely cast its acorns round, ISO- 

The seed of after forests. On our part, 
Like lightnings on our ministries of love, 
Moved by the Omnipresent Spirit we flew. 



258 THE CHURCH MILTTANT. [BOOK 

Heaven put forth all its ghostly strength as hell, 

Counsel with counsel militant : what time 

The snow-white horse and its imperial lord, 

Apollyon's symbol (worshipped there as Mars) 

Chosen in defiance of the King of kings, 

With eagles crowned by Capitolian Jove, 

Went conquering and to conquer forth. Ere long 190 

That hue triumphal changed to fiery red, 

The rider and his horse incarnadined 

By fratricidal slaughter. And again, 

Lean hunger prowling o'er the Roman world, 

That mystic horseman and his crimsoned steed 

Grew black as night : all faces gathered gloom ; 

The new wine languished, and the mirth of harps 

Was quenched, and all the merry -hearted sighed : 

Presage of worse. For that black phantasm soon 

Assumed a livid pale, most ghastly steed, 200 

Bestridden by the king of terrors, Death, 

And followed by the shades of hell. Through all 

We pitched our tents around the saints of God, 

Alike in prisons and in palaces, 

In cities, and in lonesome dens and caves ; 

And, when the fadeless crown of martyrdom 

Was wreathen for the martyr's holy brow, 

The Captain of our armies oft ordained 

No slender band of spirits, but legions arm'd, 

And tnnns of the celestial chivalry, 210 

Such as in Dothan camp'd about the seer, 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 259 

TV attend His dying* servants ; or Himself 
Descended in His chariot paved with love 
To bear them straightway home. 

" But time would fail 
To speak of all who trod in Stephen's steps, 
Who for their Master's sake endured the worst 
Of vengeance men could wreak on fellow- men, 
Shame, taunts, revilings, hunger, nakedness, 
Bonds, dungeons, scourges, tortures, till at last 
They yielded up their bodies to be burn/d, 220 

Or bow'd their neck to the devouring sword. 
By many, with my bright compeers, I stood 
In their last agony. Some I had watch'd 
Like thee, from earliest infancy of faith, 
My chosen wards : of whom thou know'st by name 
Perpetua, beautiful Perpetua, pride 
Of Carthage. I was by her side that hour 
When she a wife, a mother, stood unblench\l, 
So young and fair, so tender and so true, 
Before the proud Hilarian. In mine ears 230 

Vainly her father urged his passionate suit, 
And pleaded his thin silvery locks in vain. 
And when the shouting theatre received 
Her and her sister saint, Felicitas, 
A princess and a slave (rank weighed not then), 
And with them other three — when ruthless hands 
Stripp'd from her gentle limbs her robes, and gave 
To the rude gaze of thousands charms which love 

s 2 



260 THE CHURCH MITATAXT. [BOOK 

Had scarcely seen, — I heard her low-breathed cry 

For patience, by her Lord vouchsafed, though now 240 

The scourge made furrows on her quivering flesh, 

And soon the maddened and infuriate bull, 

Wild with affright, forth rushing from its den 

Gored all her tender side ; until herself, 

Triumphant in the hour of mortal pain, 

Guided the gladiator's trembling blade 

Straight to her bursting throat : then it was mine, 

Attended by a glorious retinue 

Of angels, to await her parting spirit, 

And lead her, heralded with songs of praise, 250 

Through heaven's glad portals to her Lord's embrace 

In yonder bowers of beatific joy. 

" Martyr'd Perpetua was but only one 
Of thousands not unlike : until the cry, 
Swelling from year to year, from age to age, 
Rose ever louder and more loud from souls 
Beneath the altar crying, ' How long, O Lord, 
Most Holy, dost Thou not avenge our blood ? 
How long, O Lord, how long?' A little space 
God's patience suffer'd. Then the Pagan earth 2G0 

Trembled as smitten with His hand : the sun 
Became as sackcloth, and the moon as blood : 
The stars fell ruinous from heaven, as when 
A fig-tree, shaken of a mighty wind, 
Casts its untimely figs : the firmament 
Was shrivell'd as a scroll : the island rocks 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 261 

Fled, and the everlasting mountains sank 
AppalFd. Jehovah had arisen, and man 
Was prostrate at His feet. 

" The earthquake ceased ; 
And all things had ere long resumed their calm, 270 

When lo, the mystic Bride appeared in heaven 
Clothed with the sun, the moon beneath her feet, 
And on her head a coronal of stars, 
Exceeding fair. But, even as we gazed, 
Her hour was come, and travailing in birth 
She cried aloud, with bitter pangs and throes 
Tormented. And, or ever we were Vare, 
Right opposite a fiery dragon rolFd 
His baleful eyes, all ravenous to devour 
Her helpless babe when born : portentous sign 280 

Of woe and warfare imminent, which soon 
Darkened the fields of heaven. Her new-born babe 
In sooth was caught up to the throne of power ; 
And upon eagle wings the woman tied 
Into the lonely wilderness, and there 
Abode for six times seven months of years, 
Until the time appointed her of God. 
But now the dragon and his hosts must drink 
More deeply of the bitter cup of shame, 
And taste from our avenging swords that wrath 290 

Which they had braved too fiercely and too long. 

" It was the year that Constantine avowVl 



262 THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

Allegiance to the conquering Cross, when I, 

Returning from my solitary charge 

With the lost Theodore to Hades, found 

War, open war, already pre-announced 

In heaven. For though Messiah, when He rose 

Triumphant from Mount Olivet, had cleansed 

The Heavenly Zion and its vast precincts, 

Nor suffered from that hour unholy feet 300 

To tread those temple courts, there lay betwixt 

Wide champaigns, lower than the heaven of heavens, 

But loftier than the earth ; and these the foe, 

Recovering from their fatal bruise, possessed, 

Wide regions of the starry firmament, 

Not without orbs and embryo worlds, the which 

They fortified with munimental walls 

Of fire and darkness, fastnesses and forts 

Innumerable, but chiefly' around that pole 

Far stretching toward the regions of the North, 3 1 

Where Satan fiVd his capital supreme, 

By mortals Pandemonium calPd, for there 

He and his rebel potentates were wont, . 

A gloomy consistory, to sit immured, 

And thence descending in quick raids to ply 

Their devilish arts upon mankind : as when, 

To liken things in heaven to things on earth, 

A pirate chieftain in the Egean lurks 

By Lesbos or its tributary isles, 

And sweeps the ocean from his secret lair. 320 

Moreover from those dark palatial halls, 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 263 

Where fallen gods in synod sate enthroned; 
Invective blasphemies against the saints. 
Exaggerating or inventing ill, 
Cruel, obscure, vindictive, false, malign, 
Rose day and night to God : never more loud, 
Never more loathsome than when Caesar's crown 
Wreathed Christian brows, and Satan knew his seat 
Was crumbling underneath its idol weight. 

" But now the inevitable hour had struck 330 

Of conflict. Hell's iniquity once more 
Had risen and trembled on the utmost brim. 
Nor was it longer possible for ours, 
Who for four thousand years and more had fought, 
Opposing stratagem to stratagem, 
Manoeuvre to manceuvre, toil to toil, 
But from the forceful violence of war 
By God's command refraining, not to feel 
A stern and holy joy, when now the word 
Came from the height of Zion, by the mouth sao 

Of S uriel, to equip themselves for fight, 
And where the standard of great Michael waved, 
A sheet of flame athwart the northern heavens, 
To muster their innumerable ranks 
For battle, following where he led the way. 

" But ere that burning messenger resumed 
His station at the footstool of God's throne, 
Unarmed, and unaccompanied, he pass'd 



' 



264 THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

(Such is the fearless confidence of love, 

And such amazement fearless love compels — 350 

So Moses stood unmoved in Pharaoh's court) 

Within the triple walls of darkness piled 

By Satan round his vast metropolis, 

And through the throng of ruined seraphim, 

And lurid cohorts round about them ranged, 

And, suddenly amid that council hall 

Apparent, for his Lord spake winged words : 

" c Ye fallen principalities of heaven, 
Wrath is impendent. Michael and his hosts 
Already by command are on their way 360 

To cleanse these heavenly regions. Ere the sword 
Drive you and yours to ignominious flight 
Or worse — ? 

" But Satan, rising from his throne, 
Scarce in his fury finding words, brake short 
The warning voice of heaven's ambassador, 
* Whence art thou, cherub ? Are not heaven's domains 
Sufficient for thy nimble wing, that thou 
Must violate my realms ? Michael, thou sayest, — 
He first, or I, of the archangelic three ? 
His armies — are they more or less than mine? 370 

But let him come, with all the hosts of God 
Numbered tenfold, — I fear, I fly him not. 
Whatever it avail in idle peace, 
Love is no equal match for hate in war, 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 265 

Nor truth for guile, nor courage for despair. 

Meanwhile for thy insultant ambassage, 

Until the cohorts of thy friends are driven 

From our imperial battlements confused, 

Within the darkest dungeon they conceal, 

Cherub, abide in chains, a spy's desert/ 380 

u So saying, the Arch-fiend stretched his puissant arm, 
To grasp that fearless spirit, but grasp'd him not, 
For God around him cast His shield of power 
Invisible ; and through them forth he passed 
(As once Messiah through the furious crowd 
Of Nazareth passed scatheless) through the guards 
Who vainly thronged his path, and through the maze 
Of bastions — none could stop his way — nor paused 
Until he came within angelic ken 

Of the bright legions now from far and near 390 

Assembling round the hierarchal tent 
Of Michael. Goodly was the sight and brave. 
Far as the eye could reach, beneath him lay, 
In turms and squadrons and battalions ranked, 
The armies of the living God. Like light 
Their helmets shone ; like lightnings flashed their swords ; 
While over them their ensigns waved like fire : 
Warriors innumerable, of whom the least 
Thus militant appearing among men 
Would loose the loins of thousands. On the right 400 
Was Gabriel marshalling his endless hosts ; 
Nor less upon the left was Raphael's charge • 



266 THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

Michael the centre held : while far in front 
Ten thousand times ten thousand chariots blazed. 
And horsemen clad in armour white as snow, 
Who oft to right and left disparting showed 
The forest of impenetrable spears behind. 

" Straight to those guards of flaming seraphim, 
Where Michael stood alone pre-eminent, 
Directing with his eye, and hand, and spear, 4 1 o 

The glorious tryst, sped Suriel and announced 
The scornful answer of the foe : whereat, 
From chief to chief, from armed rank to rank, 
And from brigade to battailous brigade 
Rolling, arose a shout of martial wrath 
Indignant. Thrice it rose, and thrice it fell, 
A mighty wave of multitudinous sound, 
And broke far off amid the troubled stars : 
And, as the latest echoes sank, I came 
From Zion's height, and took, at Gabriel's beck, 420 

My post upon his distant right reserved. 

t€ But now, at secret signal from the Throne, 
Sounded the archangelic trump. Forthwith 
That host of hosts, as by one breath inspired, 
In silence voiceless as the hush of night, 
Moved on with unimaginable speed, 
Smooth and unbroken (as the peopled earth 
Unjarring and unjarr'd moves evermore 
Along her heavenly orbit), through the realms 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 267 

Of light, until frowning* before them lay 430 

Outstretched in almost limitless extent 
The empyreal kingdom of the prince of hell, 
Immured in gloom, meet ramparts for meet foes, 
Walls of what seemed impenetrable dark, 
Blind fissures yawning here and there betwixt, 
Inviolate, embrasures none above, 
Foundations none below, to mine or scale : 
Nothing to mark where lurk'd the unseen foe ; 
No whisper heard within. 

" Thither arrived 
Michael his legions wide aloof disposed 440 

To search if guarded portal, or ravine, 
Or secret avenue, might tempt approach. 
But none appeared \ though twice ten thousand leagues 
Each touching each his millions stretched, such clouds 
And exhalations had the Apostate Fiend 
(In likeness of the judgment clouds that roll 
Veiling the Light of Light from creature gaze, 
Though those be pure and these impure and foul) 
Around his throne of evil circumfused. 
But as we stood at gaze, a furnace blast 450 

Bushed from those bastions forth, and storms of hail , 
As sharp rocks hurFd from countless catapults, 
With whirlwind fury on our armies smote ; 
Nor intermitted, while above our heads 
Hot clouds of fiery ashes, black as night, 
Discharged their ominous burden : such as once 



268 THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

Vesuvius travailing in earthquake pour'd 

On Herculaneum's idle battlements, 

And doomed Pompeii's last festivities. 

Horrible tempest : but for us that hour 4(50 

Innocuous, who with instinct's quick surmise 

(So flashes before thought the closing lid 

That guards the apple of the human eye) 

All covered by our golden shields received 

Those levell'd thunderbolts ; and on our helms, 

And mail of proof those burning ashes fell 

Harmless as rain, which we beneath us shook — 

Not without scorn. Haply to one who watch'd 

From Pharos or from Egypt's plain it seem'd 

Far in the Northern heavens a nebulous mist 470 

Streak'd with strange fires, which vanished as he gazed. 

But, when that terrible Simoom had pass'd, 

No son of light had moved, none crouch'd with fear, 

None counselled base retreat. Such lofty strength 

God in the hearts of all infused. And lo, 

Michael stretched forth his spear ; and instantly, 

Quick as the lightning's flash, from east to west 

The watchword ran ; and even as we were 

We plunged into those beetling clouds — no thought 

Of dastard terror, though it seem'd as well 4 so 

Plunge into Etna's crater. For each one 

His armour, forged of diamond and light, 

Made luminous a foothold ; and for each 

The breath of his own lips before him clave 

A dubious path, dubious and throng'd with foes, 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 209 

Who now half hidden, half apparent now. 

With arms of darkness in the darkness aim'd 

Their deadly thrusts. Wounds were received and given 

By weapons upon diverse anvils wrought, 

Keen, ghastly, fiery wounds. Nor deem it strange 490 

That sinless angels bear some marks of war, 

A transient anguish for eternal gain. 

Has not the King of glory in His hands, 

And feet, and side, prints which eternity 

Will not efface ? Why not His angels ? Is 

The servant greater than his Lord ? Were we 

By hearing and by sight alone to know 

His sympathy with pain V* 

As Oriel spake, 
He laid his hand upon a scar that seamed 
His forehead, which not unobserved before 500 

Only appeared a line of deeper thought, 
No foul disfigurement, but added power 
And more majestic royalty of mien. 



" This from the furious Moloch's blade, who deem VI 
With shout of victory and redoubled stroke 
To end our duel ; but Gabriel succoured me, 
And bore the fiend on his avenging spear 
Back to his cloudy ambush. Few of ours 
In that dread battle but received some sign 
Of like endurance, honourable scars, 510 



270 THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

More precious to the warrior's glistening eye 

Than spoil or jewell'd diadem : and few 

But in extremity of peril owed 

Their safety to a comrade's generous arm. 

Deeds of high courage and renown were wrought, 

And links enwove by stern self-sacrifice 

Brother to brother binding, binding all 

The closer to the Prince of all, whose eye 

Nothing escaped, and whose recording hand 

Wrote every act of loyalty and love 520 

In heaven's unfading ageless chronicles. 

The war was hand to hand : albeit at times 

The storm-clouds scattered by God's breath reveal'd 

A cubic phalanx of the foe, more densely' 

Embattled than the guards of Macedon, 

Who for great Philip's greater son subdued 

Wan Persia 'neath the leopard's feet. And then 

Oft have I seen some mighty seraph, arm'd 

In adamantine armour, throw himself 

Into those serried hostile ranks alone, 530 

While, following in the path that fiery sword 

Made for itself, others to right and left 

Have dealt their indiscriminate vengeance. Thus 

Or singly, or in groups, or marshall'd charge, 

As time and place befell, that conflict raged : 

Millions of flaming spirits on either side, 

And heaven, with planetary orbs for towers, 

The ample battle-field. But from the first 

Darkness succumb'd to light : though not one day, 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 271 

As mortals reckon days, nor one brief year 540 

Looked forth the sun on the revolving* earth, 

But seven times seven her annual circuit marked, 

The while from battlement to battlement, 

From cloudy lair to lair, from orb to orb, 

From plain to plain of dismal overthrow, 

The foe borne slowly backward fell. In chains 

My chieftain led Apollyon breathing fire, 

And with him his quaternion body-guard, 

Four angels fiercest of hell's brood, and bound 

After the battle, for worse fate reserved, 550 

These last in fetters by Euphrates' banks ; 

But hurl'd their leader to the abysmal pit, 

To moan his fall with Uziel and his hosts. 

Nor less Michael encountered Baalim 

With Belus and Beelzebub, who drave 

Consentient in tempestuous hurricane 

Their fiery cars against his single might, 

But found the race not always to the swift, 

When, cleaving through their shields and useless helms 

Those twain, our archangelic hierarch 560 

Smote Baalim as with a stroke of fate 

Inevitable, and dragged him from his throne 

Above that flaming chariot, and consigned 

Him, maugre his relentless blasphemies, 

To durance by Gehenna's brazen doors. 

These our sole captives : for the rest our charge 

Was not to capture but to drive them forth 

From that supernal firmament. So God 



272 THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

Commanded, so His ministers obeyed. 

For, as the trumpet of the jubilee 570 

Blown on the height of Zion rang through heaven, 

Their latest stronghold stormed, their proud array 

Pierced and transpierced on all sides, and their chiefs 

Staggering with ghastly wounds, and pale with rage, 

While now the breath of the Eternal Spirit 

Cleansed all that sulphurous atmosphere, the crowds 

Of those rebellious, gnashing with remorse, 

And inextinguishable pride, were seen 

Driven to the uttermost precincts, that lie 

Betwixt celestial and terrestrial things ; 5S0 

While Michael and his peers advancing bore 

Their mangled cohorts down, a hideous rout, 

Falling, like meteors quenched, from heaven. Nor was 

One province, lost in that disastrous fight, 

Ever by the infernal powers regained : 

For, while His armies marched triumphant on 

To songs of undeclining victory, 

Messiah sealed the glorious realms they trod 

Against the foes' return. And, in the year 

The apostate Julian breathed his last on earth, 590 

The rearmost of those ruined ones, despite 

The cloudy covert of the Arch-fiend's shield, 

Yv r as driven from the empyreal regions down 

To lower worlds. And heaven had rest from war. 

" Scarce in the limitless demesnes of space 
Echoing had our triumphal pagans sunk 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 273 

To whispers, ere a strange refrain of woe, 

Foreboding* ill to dwellers on the earth, 

Rose from the Prescient Spirit ; and, without pause 

Of service, we on God's behalf resumed 600 

Our stations militant about the saints : 

Nor needless, nor too soon. For Satan now, 

Dislodged from heaven with all his powers accurst, 

Driven headlong, and tormented with quick wounds 

(For not to them were healing leaves of life 

Brought in that battle from the trees that bloom 

Around the heavenly Zion), urged their flight 

Through the terrestrial firmament, nor stayed 

Till shrouded by the vaporous skirts of clouds, 

That for seven moons had hung like ominous death 610 

Over the frozen regions of the North, 

They clustered shivering with despair and shame, 

A ghastly rabblement of angels — small 

And great were there — the mightiest as the least 

Confounded. But as when a stranded bark 

Is beating on the surge-swept rocks, the crew 

Pale with near death around their captain throng, 

The while he schemes some miserable raft 

Only less hopeless than the ravenous waves, 

So they around the lost Archangel flocked, 620 

Who, with intensity of stifled rage, 

Not fear, pallid and trembling, for his time 

He knew was short, lest premature despair 

Should, ere the fated hour had struck, consign 

Him and his armies to the bottomless pit, 

T 



271 THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

Opening designs, which on himself and them 
With tenfold vengeance should recoil, thus spake : 

" ' Comrades in arms, and in this sore defeat 
Equal companions, sinister this day 
Hath been to us the sword's arbitrament. 630 

Such is the lot of war. But not the less 
Stands adverse our unconquerable will, 
Against which iron obstinate resolve 
Omnipotence is shattered. Friends, herein 
Let us make virtue of necessity. 
The door of mercy hath long since been shut ; 
And soon, after a respite pre-ordain' d, 
If rightly' I read the oracles of fate, 
The portals of the vast abysmal deep 
"Will open, and the victor hosts of heaven, 640 

Or heaven's High King Himself descending, drive 
Us from our native light to the dark realms 
Of chaos, there to' abide disconsolate, 
Disown'd of God, disherited of heaven, 
Unless in sooth we make a hell of earth, 
And thus anticipate a lower fall, 
Embracing (our primeval hope) this orb 
Within the empire of eternal night. 
Nor call I now a secret consistory 

Of potentates, and seraphim, and thrones : 650 

My comrades, be ye all my counsellors — 
Thus much your zeal, your faith, your sufferings claim. 
Not wisely has One deem'd All wise, methinks, 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 275 

Suffered our weary multitudes to rest 

Midway on this vex'd globe, whose former wrecks 

Shall be forgotten, overlaid with more ; 

Nor will the hostile legions find their charge 

So light as their untimely shouts misdeem. 

Much may in brief be done. First let us loose 

The barriers of those Northern floods that chafe 660 

Around the confines of the Roman world, 

An angry fretting sea, which loosed may sweep 

That Woman (ye that hear me, understand), 

Her with the starry crown and new-born child, 

To utter death. But failing this, — and this 

Is but the prelude of my last revenge, — 

Our triumphs in the past, and they have been 

Such as have shaken the Eternal Throne, 

Have sprung from fighting God with God-like arms : 

Now let us counterfeit Himself, Triune. 670 

Comrades, for this I willingly forego 

My solitary regal state supreme, 

And for the common sake of all resign 

My archangelic primacy, and give 

My sceptre to another. Which, ye gods, 

Which of ye will ascend my throne, and share 

With me its everlasting royalty?' 

u He ask'd, but for a space no whisper broke 
The gloomy silence, — such far-shadowing fears 
Fulfilled all hearts, — till Ashtaroth, still sore 680 

t 2 



276 THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

With wounds unclosed and torments unassuaged, 
Groaned forth, ' If only Baalim were here V 

" And Satan, as a prescient god, returned — 
1 Thy prayers shall be accomplished. Baalim 
In the ripe fulness of predestined years 
Shall rise — so fatal oracles ordain — 
Rise from the dark abyss : and him I set 
Vicegerent on my throne, by virtue earned, 
Messiah's not unmeet antagonist, 

Subdued and risen against subdued and risen, 690 

And with him thee, my faithful Ashtaroth, 
Indomitable in thy sevenfold might. 
Henceforth my glory is to glorify 
You twain, you only. Let us, three in one, 
If not in essence yet in will triune, 
Triunity of darkness, counterwork 
The Trinity of light. My soul forecasts 
The shadows of the future. Is the cup 
Of vengeance sweet ? Comrades, it shall be filled 
Full and for ever to the cruel brim. 700 

Messiah hath espoused a Bride on earth : 
We will defile that Bride. His Church of old 
Fell easily in our lascivious arms ; 
But this chaste matron, nurtured at the Cross, 
And overshadowed by the Dove, and schooFd 
In suffering, w T ill be far more rigid found : 
Yet not impregnable, we copying Him. 






VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 277 

Doth He work slowly ? slowly we must work : 

And secretly ? we must in secret work : 

And patiently ? we patiently must work. 710 

And if at last within His temple courts 

His well-beloved, by us betray'd, debauchM, 

Decking herself with scarlet, gems, and gold, 

And all the blandishments of harlotry, 

Have dalliance with the nations and their kings, 

And offer them her honeyed cup of loves, 

Drunken herself with sweeter nectarine, 

The life-blood of the martyred saints of God, 

Were not this vengeance which might soothe our pangs 

Here, or in dread Gehenna, to recall ? 720 

Let Him chastise as likes Him. Let Him crush 

Our hatred underneath His burning feet. 

We shall have marred His bridal. What amends 

Were to the injured spouse the worst of ills 

Heaped on the loathed adulterer ? Likelier far, 

Weary and sick at heart of those ingrate, 

Messiah will forsake that ruined race, 

Them and their tainted home, and leave us here, 

Apostate gods of an apostate world/ 

" So spake the lost Archangel; and his hosts 730 

Infatuate on their bucklers clashed applause. 

" Ah subtlest, snared in thine own subtleties ! 
False spirit, by thine own falsehoods circumvent ! 
Folly impersonate ! And deemedst thou 



27S THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

In thy blind madness to defile the Bride, 

Whom from eternity the Father gave 

Affianced consort to His only Son ? 

Defile her ? or, if not defile, destroy ? 

Go, ply thy devilish arts, thou shalt but grasp 

An unsubstantial phantom, or at most, 740 

Polluting more thy loathsome seed, advance 

A harlot to the world's hierarchal throne : 

The Bride is hidden in the wilderness. 

Go, heat thine idol furnace sevenfold, 

And, baffled of the Bride, her children cast 

Into the burning kiln, it shall not singe 

The tender blossom on their cheek ; for lo, 

Walking at large as sons of God with God 

Through fire and fume, their white asbestos robes 

Grow only purer with intenser flame. 750 

" Dead calm before the tempest : a strange hush 
Upon the expectant deep : the winds enchained, 
Till from the mystic Israel's tribes the saints 
Were seaPd in secret with the seal of God ; 
And visions of the upper Paradise, — 
Palm-bearing, white-robed multitudes who sing 
Salvation, pastures of un withering bloom, 
And fountains of perennial living joy, — 
Drew homeward pilgrim hearts. 'Twas done : and heaven 
In solemn awe kept silence for a space : 7 Go 

While seven angels stood with trumps in hand \ 
And habited in light, as man's High Priest 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 279 

Standing before the golden mercy-seat, 

The Christ, the Angel of the Covenant, 

Offered in sacrifice rich fragrant clouds 

Of incense with the struggling prayers of saints, — 

Propitious eucharist. But, this rite done, 

The Angel in His golden censer took 

Fire blazing from that altar hearth, and cast 

Earthward the flaming coals, which as they fell 770 

Kindled the tempest-charged electric air. 

And the first angel blew his trumps ; and lo, 

Forth rushing from the North a hailstorm burst 

Upon the Roman earth, and fire and ice 

(More terrible than that which smote the pride 

Of Egypt at the beck of Amram's son) 

Fell mix'd with blood. Nor long delay : for now 

The second angel sounded, and forthwith 

A mountain, belching lava streams and smoke, 

Torn from its dark foundations, slowly sank 780 

Into the angry seas, and dyed their waves 

With ruddy fires. And lo, an ominous star, 

As the third trumpeter his clarion blew, 

Sloped through the startled firmament and fell, 

Bitter as wormwood, in the crystal springs : 

Whence after flowed not life, but death. But, ere 

This plague was past, the fourth celestial watch 

Sounded his boding cornet, and behold 

The sun and moon endured dismal eclipse, 

And through the heavens a third part of the stars 79Q 

Grew pale : while flying with disastrous wing 



280 THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

An eagle cleft the troubled sky and screamed 
Its triple dirge prophetic, Woe, "Woe, Woe ! 

" Like buried Nineveh, or Carthage, Rome 
Had sunk for ever underneath these plagues, 
But on the verge of ruin, as forecast 
By Satan, Baalim, heal'd of his wound, 
In likeness of a ravenous beast of prey, 
Rising from the abysmal waters, ranged 
The desolated shores, ten-horned, ten-crowned, 800 

And on his heads the names of blasphemy : 
To him the dragon tendered all his power. 
While sevenfold Ashtaroth, with beauty smirch'd 
In battle, but with undecaying wiles, 
Couching his fell designs in lamb-like guise, 
Sent through all lands his legionary spirits, 
And led the shepherds of the silly sheep 
Blindfold, and blinding others, to adore 
The beast whose deadly wound was heaFd, and make, 
By his perfidious miracles beguiled, 810 

A bestial vocal image, who as God 
Upon the altar seated in God's house, 
Holding the keys of Peter, should receive 
The homage of the world. Thus Phoenix-like 
On the rent walls and smoking towers of Rome, 
In hideous mimicry of Him who built 
His church on Salem's crumbling battlements, 
The Arch-adversary for his harlot bride 
Builded a mystical metropolis, 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 281 

The haunt of devils, Babylon the great, 820 

Whence in her pride and pomp she might allure 

The nations, as the peerless queen of heaven, 

Mother and mistress of all lands. Alas 

For miserable Christendom ! The East 

Gloomed underneath the shadow of new gods, 

Sculptured, or cast, or pictured : and the West 

Drave out Olympian deities to' instate 

Angels and saints within their vacant shrines, 

Blaspheming God and them at once. Meanwhile 

Apollyon, otherwise Abaddon called, 830 

Who sank with Baalim, equal in crime, 

Nor had in the abyss unlearned revenge, 

Oped, when his chains were loosed, the infernal pit, 

From whence, as from a furnace, fiery smoke 

Rose, darkening the terrestrial firmament ; 

And locust legions issuing, maiPd for war, 

None such before or after them, swarm'd forth 

Embattled from the wilds of Araby, 

And with their lion teeth and scorpion stings 

Tormented them that dwelt upon the earth &40 

For twice five months of years. Nor had this scourge 

Passed ere the sixth prophetic trumpet clanged, 

And the four spirits, Apollyon's fourfold guard, 

Bound in Euphrates, by command were loosed, 

And straightway from the famed Bagdad led forth 

Myriads of myriads, turms of horse, twice told, 

In sulphur clad and hyacinth and fire, 

Over the devastated earth which shook 



282 THE CHUKCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

Beneath their trampling : but the rest, whose names 
Were not engraven in the book of life, 850 

In foul idolatries and endless lusts 
And devilish incantations lived and died. 

u The roots of fairest bloom lie sometime hidden 
The deepest underneath the soil : the stones 
Of purest crystal are from gloomiest mines : 
The tenderest pearls are won from roughest seas : 
And stars of colours dipped in Iris' vats 
Beam from unfathomable distances, 
Ere they disclose their radiance. And when night 
Hung darkest o'er the struggling Church, — when faith 
Was weary wrestling, not with heathen foes, [s6o 

But, mystery of mysteries, with her 
Who claimed allegiance as the Bride of Christ, — 
When Satan and his fellow-fiends devised 
Daily new tortures, and relentless scythes 
Mow'd swaths of martyrs in the Alpine glens, — 
When fronting all the powers of Antichrist 
Christ's feeblest braved their fiercest, — then and there 
Were vessels fashion'd for the Master's use 
Of unexampled beauty and of price 870 

Beyond all price. The Comforter was there, 
And in His tender ministries we learn'd 
Patience and grace not dream'd of hitherto. 
Angels hung clustering round an infant's sleep ; 
And seraphs waited for a child's response; 
And legions watch'd who deem'd themselves alone. 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 283 

Love baffled hate ; and never a trembling lamb 

Was from the Heavenly Shepherd's bosom torn. 

Eternity irradiated time : 

A Father's smile outweigh'd earth's myriad powers ; 880 

A Saviour's love was country, kith, and home ; 

The weakest, in the Spirit's might, were strong. 

Ah ! brother, there are tales of secret grace, 

Written in Heaven, which shall suffuse thine eyes 

With tears of joy hereafter. 

" But those days 
Were number'd of rebuke and blasphemy. 
And even as Rome in her infatuate pride 
Vaunted the last faint witnesses were crush'd, 
Lo, from the heavens descended One whose face 
Shone as the sun, cloud-mantled, rainbow-crowned, 890 
And set His fiery right foot on the sea, 
His left on earth, and with His lion voice 
Waking far thunders in the clouds that hung 
Around the throne of judgment, sware by Him 
Who lives for ever and for ever, time, 
As meted on His chart, should be no more, 
Save only till the great archangel blew 
The latest trumpet of the seven, and then 
The mystery of God should be complete. 

" Askest thou, who it was, thus robed in light ? 900 
None other than Messiah. For they err 
Who deem, because the Word as man's High Priest 



284 THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

Within the Holiest Sanctuary abides, 

That never, as before His days of flesh, 

He, Omnipresent, as in heaven, on earth 

Reveals His glory to the sons of men 

Or angels. Showed He not Himself to Saul 

Of Tarsus, as he near'd Damascus' gates ? 

And fell not John in Patmos at His feet ? 

And when unhappy Salem sank, as sinks 910 

The blood-red sun in clouds of fiery storm, 

Came He not in His royalty descending, 

Smiting His foes, and rescuing His own 

According to His word ? Nor otherwise 

When dragon ensigns fled before the Cross, 

The Incarnate Lamb, beaming His beams of wrath, 

Was present in the awful strife. And now 

What time this last confederacy of hell 

Was stricken to the heart, He stood and cried, 

By man, but not by us unseen, unheard. 920 

" That Morning Star, herald of dawn, diffused 
Its radiance on all lands and distant isles, 
Nor, brother, least on thine. Never again 
Such midnight darkness whelmed the earth. Far streaks 
Of glory flushed the heavens. Yet not the less 
The powers of hell conspired to dim or quench 
The God-enkindled flame. But stifled here, 
The bright fire burst forth there in tenfold strength. 
And when with better augury the}' breathed 
Over the toilworn Church a sultry heat, 930 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 285 

Mephitic, somnolent, the winds of God 

Rushing tempestuous, and with lightnings winged, 

Scattered the deadly sloth. For now appeared, 

Emerging from the heavenly sanctuary, 

Seven angels, clad in priestly robes of white, 

Each holding in his hand a golden vase, 

Full of the wrath of God. These as they pour'd 

Forth from their fiery censers one by one, 

The earth was smitten by a noisome plague, 

The sea became a pool of stagnant gore, 940 

The rivers and the fountains flowed with blood, 

The old Euphrates dwindled in its bed 

And ran a puny stream a child might wade, 

While spirits malignant, by hell's triad urged, 

Sped forth, gathering the nations and their kings 

To Armageddon's battle-field. The while 

Another angel, flying in mid-heaven, 

Preached as he flew to every tribe and tongue 

Evangel tidings of eternal love. 

And on from watch to watch adown the streets 950 

Of Zion passed the cry, ' Arise, behold 

The Bridegroom cometh/ and the virgins rose 

Who for long hours had slept, and trimm'd their lamps 

And ready stood, waiting their Lord's return. 

" Thus, brother, have I at thy suit retraced, 
Though but in briefest retrospect, the fight 
The militant Church hath fought en. Nor remains 
Save that the latest censer of God's wrath 



286 THE CHURCH MILITANT. [BOOK 

Be pour'd into the aerial firmament 

Ere the shout echoes round the startled world, 960 

' Great Babylon is fallen ! * and the Prince 

Leads forth His armies with triumphal palms 

And hymning Hallelujahs, while His foes 

Are crushed before Him, and Himself assumes 

The sceptre of His rightful universe/'' 

So Oriel spake ; and while he spake mine eye 
Moved not from reading his ; such glorious thoughts, 
Passing his own angelic tongue to' express, 
Were written on his countenance. The more 
He spake to me, the more I longed to know, 970 

And fain methought had listened on and on 
In raptured audience evermore. But now 
After sweet interval in which he touched 
The light chords of what seemed a golden lute, 
And to spontaneous gushing melodies, 
Sang from heaven's psalter one of those refrains 
Whose faint far echo ravished David's soul ; — 
This ended, he turned to me and besought, 
As he had opened things unknown by me, 
I would vouchsafe his earnest suit, and tell 980 

What he had watched and guarded from without 
But knew not from within, — my spirit's life 
From its first dawn to noon : this he besought 
With such unfeigned humility, such grace, 
Making it easy to refuse or grant, 
That all my bosom opened to his love, 



VIII.] THE CHURCH MILITANT. 287 

So far as one may know another. Depths 

There are in all no creature eye can read. 

Sacred to God. But, as I told him all 

That love may ask of perfect confidence, 990 

Our hearts were knit for ever. I henceforth 

Had claims on him who thus drank in my words, 

A mute rapt listener. As the astronomer, 

Who on the starry heavens the livelong night 

Has gazed unwearied, in the dewy dawn 

Returning homeward, plucks a simple flower, 

Primrose, or cowslip, or anemone, 

And in its tender beauties peering finds 

More calm delight than in those mighty orbs 

With all their pendent satellites : so then 1000 

My guardian with an elder brother's joy 

Rested upon me in his love, the while 

I told the humble story of my heart. 

How long might there elapse of earthly time, 
As thus upon that mountain range we sate 
Communing, I knew not. But suddenly 
A clear deep musical sound about us breathed, 
Like to a silver trumpet blown far off, 
From rocks to distant rocks reverberate, 
As though the hills, instinct with harmony, ioio 

Themselves were live and vocal. And my guide 
Sprang to his feet, and gazed intently' and long 
Upon the blissful Paradise that smiled 
Beneath us, while a flush of eager joy 



288 THE CHURCH MILITANT. 

Crimsoned his cheek, and quick words from his lips 

Dropped hurriedly, — u Brother, this is the first 

Of the three trumpet signals fore-announced, 

That usher in the long-expected close. 

The first portends our tryst on yonder plains ; 

The second our ascent beneath the sword 1020 

Of Gabriel to the confines of the earth ; 

The third, the Bridal of the Lamb. But now 

They need our presence yonder. Let us go" 

So saying, again he took my hand in his ; 
And swifter than the light of morn we passed 
Down from those airy battlements, and soon, 
Albeit the intervening space was far 
As Atlas from the snowy Himalays, 
Rejoined the multitudes of the redeemed 
With angels intermingled, rapidly 1030 

From every distant realm of Paradise 
Within what seem'd one endless vale of flowers 
Assembling, joy in every bounding step 
And love past utterance stamped on every brow. 



END OF THE EIGHTH BOOK. 



289 



BOOK IX. 

THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. 

mystery of love, whose simplest signs 
Are hieroglyphics of another tongue 
Love only can interpret, from a babels 
First smile of joyance at its mother's voice, 
To the warm ruddy glow of frostless age ; 
A web of heavenly warp and earthly woof ; 
Affections twined, and intertwined ; gold threads 
Woven, unwoven, and again rewove ; 

Links riveted, and loosened, and relinked, 
Imperishable all, — what shall. I say? 10 

How speak of thee in language worthy thee ? 
My spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. 

1 see thee through a glass but darkly, — beams 
From the great Fontal Orb of love, which shone, 
Ere the foundations of the heavens were laid, 
Self-luminous, self-centred, self-contained, 

In its own increate immensity, 
Perfect, incomprehensible, Triune ; 
But which in fulness of the age of ages 

u 



290 THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. [BOOK 

Brake effluent forth, the exuberance of life 20 

Creative, till the universe of things 

Rose underneath the hand of God, instinct 

With His own nature, sinless, undefiled ; 

And, when foreseen but not the less abhorred 

Evil arose from good, and cast its pall, 

The pall of death, over the birth of life, 

Which, not one ray of glory quenched or dimmed, 

Ceased not to shine, immutably the same, 

Through clouds of judgment and quick flames of wrath 

On worlds perplexed with tempest. Holy love, 30 

Which out of that corrupt creation deignedst 

To build a new creation incorrupt, 

And link thyself thereto by sinless bands 

Incarnate, that Godhead to manhood joined, 

And through mankind to all material worlds 

(Wondrous espousals), might at last present 

His chosen Bride in virgin white arrayed 

Before the Eternal Throne : — how shall I speak 

Thy fulness, who can scarce conceive thy least ? 

How gaze upon the sun, when one bright beam 40 

Dazzles my feeble sight ? Spirit of love, 

Hear me, who humbly supplicate thine aid ; 

That which is gross in me, etherealize ; 

That which in me is carnal, spiritualize ; 

That which is earthly, elevate to heaven ; 

The weak enable, and the dark illume, 

Till love, which is of God, abides in me, 

And I abide in God, for God is love. 



IX.] THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. 291 

Oh, precious foretaste of the feast at hand ! 
Oh, blessed prelibation of the draughts 50 

Of everlasting joy ! When I returned 
With Oriel from our lonely mountain watch 
To that fast-filling vale of Paradise, 
Who first of all those white-robed multitudes 
Should greet me, but my own, my sainted wife, — 
Her spirit like mine dismantled of the flesh, 
But radiant with the likeness of her Lord ; 
Our infant cherubs clinging to her skirts, 
The mother with the children (how not so ?) ; 
And by her one whom I had seen, but scarce 60 

Remembered, till his grateful smile revived 
The memory of his watch the night I died ? 
My wife — yet deem not by that name, her soul 
Had not put off its earthly, and put on 
Its heavenly. In a moment I was 'ware 
She was for ever altogether mine ; 
Not spouse, but what is symbolized by spouse ; 
Not consort, but what consort typifies ; 
The meaning now made fact ; the ideal here 
Transparent in our real unity ; 70 

A reflex glory' and image of myself; 
An help meet for me in the house of God. 
Oh, never in her loveliest on earth 
Of bud or bloom appeared she lovely' as now ; 
Nor ever had I loved her as this hour, 
When hanging on my neck, as she was wont, 
She look'd up with her tender pleading face, 

u 2 



292 THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. [BOOK 

And sobb'd for very ecstasy, not grief, 

" My husband I" This was all, but this was heaven. 

Nor was there longer interval for muse, 80 

Ere Gabriel with a royal retinue, 
Passing, as so it chanced, adown those ranks, 
Amid those princely hierarchs a prince, 
Advanced to meet us : — majesty of rule 
Engraven on his awful brow and mien, 
Tempered with grace ; and military power, 
Mix'd with such gentleness as might beseem 
The Bridegroom's friend. With open hand and heart 
He hail'd us, and to Oriel spake, and said, 
" Yonder midway, where trends towards the right 90 
This happy vale, brother, assign thy group, 
Till the next trumpet sound. The time is short/' 

So saying he passed, he and his gorgeous suite. 
And as he said, we did. Whither arrived 
I stood a brief space gazing right and left, 
Fulfilled with joy. Far as the eye could reach, 
Stretched that illimitable valley, named 
In flowery Paradise the Vale of Flowers : 
For here whatever Eden's walks could boast 
Of fair or fragrant, asphodel or rose, 1 00 

Lily or orange bloom, or citron fruit, 
Myrrh, spikenard, cinnamon, or frankincense, 
Grew in tenfold luxuriance unsurpassed, 
Fearlessly opening to that crystal light 



IX.] THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. 293 

Its perfume and its purity. But now 

Nor flower nor fruit could fix the lingering eye : 

For here in numbers without number flocked 

The saints of every age ; the Bride was here, 

Clothing herself with light ; no bower of bliss 

But hither sent its blessed habitants : I Id 

So shrill the archangel's clarion rang through heaven. 

They came in multitudinous throngs ; but soon 
Celestial order reign'd, nor one appeared 
But necessary where he stood, albeit 
Wide gaps were here and there discernible, 
Room, as I deemed, for struggling saints on earth, 
We without them not perfect. But behold, 
More frequent every moment were the shouts 
Along the victor armies, welcoming 
Saints newly' arrived from earth. For now their foes, 1 20 
Knowing they stood upon the brink of fate, 
Redoubled their blind rage. Disguise was not : 
The dust instead of water drank in blood ; 
And fiery persecution in all lands 
Lit up the lurid flames of hell. The whole 
Creation in birth-pangs travaiFd and groanM ; 
While Satan inly tortured, with a fiend's 
Dark jealousy contemplating the power 
Of Baalim and envious Ashtaroth, 

Though by himself advanced, as yet subserved 1 30 

Their banded domination. Antichrist, 
All hollow subterfuges cast aside, 



294 THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. [BOOK 

Usurped the throne of Christ. And there was woe 

Intense, insufferable, such as earth 

Saw never, such as heaven shuddered to see. 

For as these tidings came, and every hour 

Disclosed some new atrocity of crime, 

The language of all hearts, angels and saints, 

Thrilling with cries of martyred innocents, 

Swelled in one tide of prayer adown that vale, 140 

And clomb the highest heavens — " Arise, O Lord ! 

Arise, O God of vengeance, show Thyself ! 

Make bare Thine arm, and lift Thy glittering spear ! 

Awake, awake, Almighty One ! How long 

Shall the ungodly triumph, and Thy foes 

Trample Thy heritage beneath their feet ? 

How long, Eternal, tarriest Thou ? Arise ! 

Jehovah, God of vengeance, show Thyself!" 

And He, whose ear is never heavy, heard ; 
And He, who never slumbers, woke. But yet 150 

A transitory pause, a breathing space, 
A silence terrible as sound before, 
Until a cry of anguish and alarm 
Rose from the lowest vaults of Tartarus, 
" Alas ! the dreadful day of wrath is come." 

It passed, and silence reigned. And far and near 
Messiah's Presence, though unseen, was felt 
Amongst us, shedding secret power on all. 
Angels on saints, and saints on angels look'd 



IX.] THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. 205 

Expectant; when lo, Gabriel by command igo 

Put to his lips the trump of God, and blew 

A blast so long and clear and musical, 

That none drew breath until its echoes ceased. 

And straightway, even as we were, we rose 

(So rises from an Alpine vale the mist 

At daybreak by the golden sun allured) 

Self-poised, or rather by the Spirit upborne 

Into that ambient atmosphere of light, 

Angels and principalities and thrones 

Mingling and ministrant. Slowly we rose 170 

Towards the upper gates of Paradise, 

Gates of pellucid pearl, which as we near'd 

Seemed to dilate themselves, the while our hosts, 

Myriads abreast, passed through them singing songs 

Of irrepressible joy, or friend with friend 

Sweetly communing. Eagerly I ask'd 

Of her, who like a sunbeam moved beside me, 

What had befallen our sweet lambs, since I 

Their shepherd left them in the wilderness 

These many years; for years I found had flown, 180 

While I, unconscious of their flight, had hung 

On Oriel's lips, or followed where he led. 

Let it suffice that all had faithful stood, 

Much tried, much toiling, but all leal and true, 

And children's children walking as they walked. 

Thus all along that bright ravine we moved, 
Expanded to what seem'd an hundredfold 



296 THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. [BOOK 

Its former breadth, upon our easy march 

Ascending, nor too swiftly for the flight 

Of the innumerable babes, that swelled 190 

That vast procession of the sons of God, 

And with their innocent rapture woke new joy 

In all. But now, this zone of mist traversed, 

Forth issuing from its roseate avenue 

Into the open firmament we passed, 

And unimpeded held our way, — as though 

That nebulous belt of stars, that girdles heaven, 

Were seen moving among the other orbs, 

And with a closer cincture binding earth. 

How diverse from my last descent, alone 200 

With Oriel and his courier seraphim, 

Down this celestial roadway, to a world 

I knew not, lit with passing splendours ! Now 

It seem'd as heaven itself were scaling heaven 

For love, not war. 

But half remains untold. 
While thus along the star-paved firmament 
The Bride, awakened from the holy rest 
Of ages, hastened to her mother earth, 
There to assume her hymeneal robes, 
And, with the residue of God's elect 210 

Made perfect, wait the advent of her Lord, 
Himself the Bridegroom on the right of power, 
Where in the heaven of heavens He sate embosom 'd, 
Rose in His awful Majesty, and deign'd 



IX.] THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. 297 

Ascend the chariot of Omnipotence, 
Borne onward by cherubic shapes. 

As when 
To the lone seer, by Chebar's waves exiled, 
There came dense cloud and whirlwind from the North, 
And fiery wreaths of flame, fold within fold, 
And brightness as of glowing amber round 220 

Those living creatures inexpressible, 
Of human form apparent, clad with wings 
Of Seraphim, like burning coals of fire 
Or lamps or lightnings flashing to and fro, 
Straight moving where the Spirit willed : beneath 
Wheels rushed, set with innumerable eyes, 
Wheel within wheel of beryl, and instinct 
With One pervading Spirit ; and overhead 
The firmament of crystal, terrible 

In its transparent brightness stretched : they rose, 230 
And lo, the rushing of their wings appeared 
The roll of mighty waters, or the shout 
Of countless multitudes : but, when the voice 
Of God above them sounded eminent, 
Straightway they stood and drooped their awful wings ; 
And far above the firmament, behold 
The likeness of a sapphire throne ; and there, 
Mysterious presage of the Incarnate, shone 
The likeness of a Man. Human He was 
In every lineament, yet likest God, 240 

Flame-girdled, like a sardine stone afire, 



298 THE BKIDAL OF THE LAMB. [BOOK 

Pure bright amid impenetrable dark, 
Insufferably radiant, till it wrote 
Mercy's great symbol on the clouds of wrath, 
And with its arch of softened rainbow hues, 
Gold, emerald, and vermilion, spanned the throne. 

Thus came He to that solitary seer. 
But who of men or angels can relate 
His coming with the sanctities of heaven, 
This day of His espousals? Such estate 250 

And pomp and presence, as might best comport 
With Filial Majesty, Supreme, Divine, 
Were round about Him poured. Eternal love, 
Rejoicing in its well Beloved, breathed 
New raptures o'er His blessed countenance ; 
While in His Father's glory and His own, 
By thousand times ten thousand ministries 
Attended, through the holiest heaven of heavens 
He came, and through the multitudinous maze 
Of jubilant constellations. But, or ever 2(>o 

His armies, following underneath the sign 
Of Michael's archangelic standard, touch'd 
The confines of the sun's crystalline sphere 
Earthward descending, on the other side 
The hosts of the redeem'd, by Gabriel led, 
Advancing from the opposite aspect, 
Not without songs of triumph heard far off, 
Stood on what seem'd the nether edge of space 
Bordering earth's airy firmament. So stood 



IX.J THE BHIDAL OF THE LAMB. 299 

Israel aforetime, from the ocean depths 270 

Emerging by the clouds of spray baptized, 

Beside the marge of Idumea's sea, 

And sang the song of Moses to the sound 

Of Miriam's timbrel, or disposed themselves 

In loose array along those hoary rocks 

Fretted by waves, which here and there cast up 

The bodies of their late blaspheming foes. 

Not otherwise that hour nor with less joy 

We, all invisible to mortal sight, 

Enwrapped the circling earth from pole to pole, 280 

A thin pure veil of disembodied spirits, 

(Scarcely less subtle than the luminous hair, 

Dishevelled, streaming from a comet's brow, 

Through which the faintest star shines on undimm'd,) 

And nearing now our birth-land, at a word 

That with electric speed circled the globe, 

Bore downward through the realms of air (as once 

The lambent fiery tongues of Pentecost 

Fell straight from heaven) where waited each the germ, 

Once sown in weakness, to be raised in power. 290 

The motion was as thought. Howbeit nor I, 

Nor any, lost one moment's consciousness. 

It was a village churchyard where I lighted, 

My wife, my babes, beside me, on the left 

My parents, and my chasten'd sister's spirit, 

Our angel guardians hanging on our steps. 

But, even as we touch'd the solid earth, 

The Lord Himself descended with a shout, 



300 THE BRIDAL OF THE LAM 13. [BOOK 

Loud as of torrent floods, into mid-heaven, 

His bright cherubic chariot veiPd in clouds 3uo 

Of dazzling glory. And at His command 

The voice of Michael, like the knell of doom, 

Broke on the slumbers of a guilty world, 

And on the last conspiracies of hell ; 

And flashes of incessant lightnings wrapped 

The incandescent sky from East to West, 

Where night was, making night itself as noon, 

And where was day, blinding the sun with light : 

A thunder sound, but no articulate words ; 

A lightning glory, but no lineaments 310 

Apparent to the habitants of earth, 

Save on the hills of Zion, where the tribes 

Of Israel, gathered from all lands and seas, 

Heard what the nations heard not, and beheld, 

Astonied, Him whom they had pierced ; — as once 

To Saul, alone of all that stricken band, 

His persecuted Lord appeared and spake. 

But now Gabriel a third time blew his trump, 

Given hirn from the celestial sanctuary 

Against this Bridal hour. And in a glimpse, 320 

In the individual twinkling of an eye, 

The ground, on which we stood, trembled and clave ; 

And I, a sense of rapture like new life 

Through every limb discoursing, found myself 

ApparelFd in celestial robes, what once 

Was mortal clothed in immortality, 

What was corrupt in incorruption lost. 






IX.] THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. SOI 

So were all clad. But angel whispers now 

Spake welcomes scarcely audible ; for still 

The echoes of the Bridal trump rang* out, 330 

And still the Bridegroom's voice resounded, and 

Straightway, as if the altar of the earth 

Exhaled one cloud of incense, we rose up 

Towards the sapphire throne ; but scarce had risen, 

Ere thousand times ten thousand living saints, 

Changed and transfigured, from all lands and seas, 

Like Enoch and Elias, without death 

Achieving deathless life, translated rose 

And swelled our soaring multitudes, and filled 

Whatever was wanting to the Bride. Behold 340 

The Church of the Firstborn at last complete ! 

The while, with Hallelujahs on our lips, 

Still on and on towards the throne we swept 

Through the aerial regions, every eye 

Bent on the King, and every instant rich 

With new delights ; until His hosts and ours 

Seemed two fraternal armies edge to edge 

Approaching, nothing save His car of fire 

Flashing prismatic flames betwixt. As when 

(If such celestial mysteries may bear 350 

Earthly comparison, nor suffer loss), 

Emergent from his eastern couch, the sun 

Pours forth at last his horizontal beams 

Between two banks of clouds, above, below, 

Rubied with light, a flood of golden day, 

Till closing round his chariot thev imbibe 



302 THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. [BOOK 

The full effulgence of his ardent wheels, 

Leaving the hills in gloom : so clustering round 

Messiah, who descended from His throne 

To greet us, as the bridegroom greets the bride, — 36o 

Love omnipresent, inexpressible, 

Welcoming all as each, and each as all, — 

We from His smile drank in beatitudes 

Beyond all words to picture. But what more 

Befell us in those high aerial realms 

Was closely mantled from unholy gaze. 

Earth trembled at the sudden night. The Bride 
Was not. They sought her, but she was not found ; 
And for a space in mute amaze men ask'd 
Each of his fellow, where were those they loathed, 370 
Yet loathing fear'd ? But soon far other scenes 
Engrossed all hearts : for lo, great Babylon 
Trembled, as smitten with the curse of God, 
And fell in ruinous heaps, and sank, as sinks 
A millstone in the mighty waters, down 
Into a dreadful chasm of fire, which oped 
Beneath her battlements, while overhead 
The sky rained burning sulphur, till the smoke 
Of her great torment clomb into the heavens ; 
And all her merchants, standing far aloof, 380 

BewaiFd her, casting dust upon their heads. 
But not on Satan and his peers that hour 
The wrath-beam fell : whereat greatly rejoiced 
The rebel triad, and, emboldened more 



IX.] THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. 303 

By what had cow'd less than infernal pride, 

From every shore their thronging armies drew, 

Weening to' erect, where Zion's temple stood, 

The throne of wickedness, and set thereon 

The proud son of perdition, in whose breast 

They three might tabernacle, as the Arch-fiend, 390 

Sole monarch, once in wretched Judas dwelt. 

There was a sound of weeping on the slopes 
Of Zion, not the children's hungry cry. 
Or wail of women over slaughtered babes, 
Or the loud groans of linked prisoners, 
Albeit the eagles of destruction swoop'd 
Wheeling in ever nearer circles o'er 
Emmanuel's land. Their hour was not yet come. 
But all the air breathed sadness. Sobs and sighs, 
Vainly suppress'd, were heard in every home. 400 

A nation was in tears. For they had seen 
Their Prince the Lord of glory, and had heard 
Him saying, " I am Jesus, whom ye pierced," 
And, pierced themselves, in bitterness of soul 
Mourn'd for Him, as men mourn an only son, 
Mourning in solitude ; or, if they met, 
None to his fellow spake except in sighs, 
And smiting on his breast would go his way. 
But one among them moved, of nobler mien, 
Veiling in mortal guise immortal power, 410 

And like another Baptist bow'd all hearts, 
Priests, people, parents, children, as one man, 



304 THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. [BOOK 

Till, gazing on the cross their fathers rearM, 
Israel beheld the Crucified and lived. 



Such things were wrought on earth. But who of 
saints 
Or seraphs may with chastened reverence 
Disclose what holy mysteries ensued 
"Within the veil, when now the rest withdrawn 
Past earshot, not beyond angelic view, 
Retiring till their robes and wings and crowns 420 

Appeared as hangings wov'n of richest dyes 
Star-spangled, like the temple curtains twined 
With purple, crimson, blue, and gleaming forms 
Cherubic curiously traced in gold, 
The Bridegroom met the Bride alone ? Himself 
In glorified humanity supreme, 
Incarnate Light : and she like Him in glory, 
No spot or wrinkle on her holy brow, 
No film upon her robes of dazzling white, 
Most beautiful, most glorious : every saint 430 

Perfect in individual perfectness ; 
And each to each so fitly interlinked, 
Joined and compact, their countless millions seemM 
One body by One Spirit inspired and moved, 
The various members knit in faultless grace, 
The feeblest as the strongest necessary, 
Nor schism, nor discord, nor excess, nor lack ; 
The Ideal of all beauty realized, 
The Impersonation of delight and love. 



IX.] THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. 303 

And the Lord looked on her ; and in His Eye 440 

Beamed admiration infinite, Divine. 
She was His chosen, His elect. When cast 
Abroad a foundling infant in her blood, 
Hers was the time of love : no eye but His 
Had pity : but He took her to His heart, 
And nurtured all her helpless infancy, 
And taught her gentle childhood, and at last 
Betrothed her virgin beauty to Himself, 
And, being that another claimed her life, 
Had with His heart's blood ransom'd her from death, 450 
For her descending from His throne to die, 
And re-ascending to prepare her home, 
Had won her tender maidenhood to long 
For this chaste Bridal. Now His time was come • 
And all her coy and childish bashfulness 
Had ripened into womanly reserve. 
Pure and intense affection o'er her threw 
A veil of softened light. To share His throne 
Was little in her eyes, whose glory' it was 
To hear Him whisper, " My beloved is Mine," 4Go 

To lean upon His bosom, and reflect 
The sunshine of His everlasting joy. 

And still He look'd on her ; and silently 
Drank in her beauty, as once Adam look'd 
On Eve, till underneath His searching Eye, 
Conscious of loving, confident of love, 
Quick flushes of delight suffused her heart 

x 



306 THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. [BOOK 

And shed new charms about her, when it seemed 

(I speak of heavenly things in earthly words) 

As if He drew her nearer to Himself, 470 

And folded her to His Eternal breast, 

And spake to her, and said, " My love, My dove, 

My beauty be upon thee. Thou art Mine. 

Thou art all fair. There is no spot in thee."" 

When in the nether Paradise He stamped 
Me with the impress of His gaze of love, 
My cup, methought, ran over, nor could hold 
Another crystal joy. But now His Spirit 
Empowered my spirit to receive new streams 
Of gladness, which from all sides flowed on me. 4 SO 

The throbbing pulses of the Bride's great heart 
Seem'd from the joy, that coursed through every vein, 
To gather new intensity of life, 
While glowing, like the morning sky, she blushed 
Beneath the sun-smile of His holiness, 
Who looked on her, revealing evermore 
New wonders of unfathomable grace, 
Grace blent with glory, tenderness with truth, 
Light without shade of dark, love without end. 

But now, at secret signal from Himself, 490 

The saints dispersing, like a golden cloud 
Of incense blown among the orange groves, 
In twos or threes, or groups, as liked them best, 
He walking in their midst, to each and all 



J 



IX.] THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. 307 

Most affable and most accessible. 

Held converse : and the angels gathered round, 

Rejoicing greatly for the Bridegroom's joy, 

And soon at His permissive voice disposed 

And piled the banquet of His love with fruits 

And nectar, from ambrosial vines distilPd. 500 

Then first, for interval ere this was none, 
Turning I looked upon my wife to read 
My immortality of bliss in hers 
Reflected. O my God, the glad surprise 
Thou hadst prepared for us ! Never in thought 
Or dream or waking vision had such bloom, 
As I in her, and she in me beheld, 
Floated across our meditative eye. 
Our spiritual body was the same in type, 
In face and form and fashion, as on earth, 51 o 

Yet not the same, — transfigured : suited this 
For the quick motions of the new-born spirit, 
As that for all the functions of the flesh ; 
Obedient to our faintest wish, as was 
Sometime the disembodied soul ; yea, more, 
So willingly responsive, that it woke 
Wish to exert, where exercise itself 
Was pleasure. Would I speak, my tongue was fain ; 
And language copious, yet precise and clear, 
Embracing all the loftiest thoughts enshrined 520 

In all earth's dialects, flowed from my lips 
Spontaneously, catching the finer tints 

x 2 



308 THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. [BOOK 

Of mingled light and shade, like photographs 

Of contemplation. Would I touch my harp, 

The very touch was music, and enticed 

Melodious words. The opening eye drank in 

Such scenes of beauty, and the listening ear 

Such trancing harmonies, audience and sight 

Seemed sweet necessity. Or would I move, 

Volition, without wings or nimble tread 530 

Of footsteps, wafted my aerial form, 

Swifter than sunbeams glance from East to West, 

Whithersoever I would, as mortals move 

Their hand or foot by motion of swift thought. 

A body meet for heaven, as that for earth ; 

One from the other nascent : that the root, 

This the fair flower : even as the hyacinth, 

With its pavilion of green leaves, and wealth 

Of blossom and rose-tinted petals, springs 

From a dull dismal bulb, which none who saw, - 540 

And knew not of its latent power, could dream 

The cradle of such loveliness, yet each 

Meet for its home, for the rain-nurtured soil, 

And the soft kisses of the playful air ; 

And each to each indissolubly joined. 

And when instinctively we raised our eyes 
From contemplation of the heavenly forms, 
Now ours for ever, to the Prince we loved, 
To thank Him who had made us thus, behold 
These bodies of our glory could sustain 550 






IX.] THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. 309 

More of His glory than the naked spirit ; 

Our pure affections His affections clasped; 

And every power within us had some hold 

On His omnipotence. Like imaged like. 

And, as with us, so was it with the rest : 

To all a vast promotion of their bliss, 

To each the increase, as each sow'd on earth. 

Love only can know love. And as they loved, 

They knew Him. As they knew Him, they returned 

His lineaments of beatific light : 56o 

So glory is proportionate to grace. 

But, hearken, now a concert of sweet sounds 
On all sides imperceptibly arose, 
From twice ten thousand flutes the ravished air 
Soliciting, and whispering in all hearts, 
The marriage supper of the Lamb was come. 
And, even as we were, we saw what seemed 
A banquet of all heavenly fruits and food, 
And chalices of crystal wreathed with flowers-, 
Before us. And what seemed, was there. And lo, 570 
The Prince, at once our Minister and Host, 
Assigned to each his festal couch, whereon 
No sooner were the happy guests recline 
Than He Himself crowned every cup with joy, 
And charged attendant seraphim to keep 
The tables loaden with the choicest bloom 
Celestial walks could yield. They, nothing loth, 
Bore from the Paradise of God such rich 



310 THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. [BOOK 

Exuberance of vernal promise, mix'd 

With the ripe fruits of summer (for in heaven 5b0 

Summer and spring dance ever hand in hand), 

As heaven itself had never seen till now 

Plucked in one hour and on one board profuse, 

Yet presently repaired its gift, nor seemed 

The poorer. These the blessed angels piled, 

In large unsparing hospitality, 

Before the presence of their guests. Nor lacked 

Greetings, nor glad surprises, nor fond eyes 

Flashing their welcome to beloved ones round : 

Whether the bliss of guardian spirits or saints 590 

Was greater, whether children most rejoiced 

In parents, or their parents most in them, 

I know 7 not : this I know, all hearts were full. 

Angels and principalities and thrones 

Confessed, they never tasted joy like this; 

While youthful cherubs without number flew, 

Shaking a dewy fragrance from their wings, 

And in their rosy fingers bore to each 

Some token of the Royal grace. And soon 

The genial flow of converse, like the sound 600 

Of many waters heard far off, appeared 

A multitudinous tide of mirth and love. 

The crystal river of eternal life 
Flows ever deeper on ; and since that hour, 
It may be, I have witnessed other scenes 
Of majesty and grandeur more august; 



IX.] THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. 311 

But purer rapture could not be. The first 

Unfolding of the blossom to the sun ; 

The leaping of the spring, when first unseaPd ; 

The young bride's incommunicable joy, 610 

When first the words, My husband, cross her lips ; 

The first babe folded to the mother's heart ; 

These have a rapture all their own. And we, 

Methinks, of that delicious feast of love 

Had never wearied (half a week of years 

As meted by the sun, so I have heard, 

Passed by the while : they only seemed like days), 

But now Messiah rising from His throne, 

In the calm awe of His Omnipotence, 

Addressed us, saying, 620 

" My Father's will be done. 
His will is Mine. The fated hour has struck 
Of battle. On mine ears but now there fell 
The short sharp cry of Israel's travail-pangs. 
Come with Me, saints and angels, and behold 
My foes and yours prostrate beneath our feet. 
Now is the day of vengeance in My heart, 
And now the year of My redeemed is come/' 

He spake, and lo that festive scene of love 
Quickly appeared a camp of mustering war, 
From whose cerulean gates, wide open thrown, 630 

Messiah seated on a snow-white horse 
Of fiery brightness, as the Lord of hosts, 



312 THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB. [BOOK 

ApparelFd in a vesture dipped in blood, 

And many crowns upon His sacred head, 

Rode conquering and to conquer forth. And those, 

Who lately at His marriage feast reclined, 

Appeared an army, clothed in robes of white, 

And mounted like their Lord on steeds of fire, 

A glorious retinue. On either side, 

Like wings of light-arm'd troops, innumerable, 640 

The hosts of angels, ranged in order, marched, 

And, as they marched, to sound of martial trumps, 

Poured forth prophetic strains of Jubilee : 

" Hail, Prince of life ! Hail, virgin Princess, hail ! 
Thou fairer than the sons of men, Thy lips 
Drop with the fragrant honey-dews of grace, 
For God, Thy God, hath blessed Thee for ever. 
Almighty, gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh. 
Ride, in Thy Majesty, Thy glory, forth : 
In truth, in meekness, and in righteousness 650 

Ride on and prosper ! Thy right hand alone 
Shall teach Thee deeds of vengeance, and Thy shafts 
Shall drink the life-blood of Thy vaunting foes. 
Thy throne, O God, from everlasting years 
Hath been, and is, and shall for ever be. 
Thy sceptre is a rod of righteousness. 
Right loves Thee, and wrong dreads Thee : wherefore 

God, 
Thy God, anoints Thee with the oil of joy 
Immeasurable. Prom Thy Bridal feasl 



IX.] THE BRIDAL OF THE LAMB, 313 

Thou ridest forth to conquer ; whiles Thy robes 660 

Of myrrh and cassia smell and mingled spice, 

And love and gladness glisten in Thine eye. 

O Blessed Bridegroom ! O thrice-blessed Bride ! 

Happy art thou, O fairest among women. 

Follow where triumph waits thee. All thy tears 

Shall be forgotten in thy Husband's smile, 

Besting upon thy perfect loveliness : 

Thy Husband is the Lord, the Lord of hosts. 

And be it ours in countless multitudes 

To throng around thy steps, and lavish love 67o 

On the Beloved of the Lord we love : 

Until the palaces of glory, filled 

With ever-during infinite delights, 

Receive thee in their golden gates, and there, 

Peerless Queen-consort of the King of kings, 

Thy virgin ministries about thee drawn, 

Thou dwellest in His mansions evermore, 

Sharing His throne, and from the well of life 

Shalt living streams diffuse through earth and heaven." 



END OF THE NINTH BOOK. 



314 



BOOK X. 

THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 

A Sabbath morn — -softly the village bells 

Ring out their welcome to the sacred day. 

The weary swain has drunk of longer sleep, 

And now, his children clustering round him, leads 

The happy group from under his low porch 

And through their little garden, where each plucks 

A rose or pansy, to the school they love : 

The busy hum delights his ear ; and soon 

The morning hymn floats heavenward; but himself, 

Holding the youngest prattler in his arms, 10 

Waits in the churchyard, where about him lie 

His father and his father's fathers, till, 

The children following in their pastor's steps 

Whose grey locks flutter in the summer breeze, 

All pass beneath the hallow'd roof, and all 

Kneeling, where generations past have knelt, 

Pour forth their common wants in common prayer. 

A rural Sabbath — nearest type of heaven : 

Yet scarcely less beloved in toil worn courts 



THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 315 

And alleys of the city. What true heart 20 

Loves not the Sabbath ? that dear pledge of home ; 

That trysting-place of God and man : that link 

Betwixt a near eternity and time ; 

That almost lonely rivulet, which flows 

From Eden through the world's wide wastes of sand 

Unchecked, and though not unalloyed with earth 

Its healing waters all impregn'd with life, 

The life of their first blessing, to pure lips 

The memory of a bygone Paradise, 

The earnest of a Paradise to come. 30 

Who know thee best, love best, thou pearl of days, 

And guard thee with most jealous care from morn 

Till dewy evening, when the ceaseless play 

Hour after hour of thy sweet influences 

Has tuned the heart of pilgrims to the songs 

And music of their heavenly fatherland. 

But mortal ears are heavy', and mortal eyes 

Catch only glimpses dim and indistinct 

Of things unseen, beauteous but far away ; 

Enough to quicken, but not satiate love : 40 

And the soon weary spirit exhausted sighs 

For wings to flee away and be at rest, 

Or solaces its musings, there remains 

A Sabbath for the toiling Church of God. 

It dawn'd at last. But not, as many thought 
And fabling sang, the amber twilight glowing 
More and more radiant in the Eastern heavens, 



316 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. [BOOK 

Till almost imperceptibly the sun 

Should glide above the golden hyaline, 

And straightway what remained of dark be light. 50 

But rather now the angry thunder-clouds, 

Which for six thousand years in broken drifts 

Had roll'd athwart earth's troubled firmament, 

Portended unexampled storms ; so dark 

The masses of disastrous gloom, that hung 

Over all lands. Was it heaven's blessed light, 

That shone behind and through their sulphurous folds ? 

And could this bloody fiery haze be day ? 

Ah, woe for Zion ! for the hills that rise 
Like ramparts round about Jerusalem ; 60 

Where, as a flock of timid goats or sheep 
Driven by fierce wolves together to one fold 
Ill-fenced for such an onset, Israel cowered, 
Contrite and crushed in bitterness of soul ! 
Jerusalem, thy hour is come. Lo, Gog, 
The prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal' s prince, 
In panoply of impious pride leads forth 
His hungry myriads to Emmanuel's land, 
Gomer and all its swarming multitudes, 
Togarmah and its rugged uncouth hordes, 70 

Elam, and Phut, and Lud, and Javan's isles, 
Asshur, and Shinar, and the tents of Cush, 
Myriads of myriads, numbers numberless, 
From North and South and East, three dreadful hosts, 
The least of which earth never saw the like, 



X.] THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 317 

Mustered by hell to quench on Zion's heights, 

Despite that lonely prophet's words, the last 

Faint glimmering brands of truth, So Satan ween'd, 

And in their aid had gathered from all lands 

And airy realms, where they in secret wrought, so 

The spirits of ill. Not one was wanting there : 

Foul and obscured by centuries of crime, 

But with unmitigated rage they came, 

Unweeting for their common doom compelled. 

Scent they afar the field of blood ? for now 

Those chafing hosts, by wrath and lust inspired, 

Like beasts of ravin, burst on Israel's camp, 

And gorge themselves with slaughter. Woe for thee, 

O Zion ! woe for thee, Jerusalem ! 

Thy birth-pangs are upon thee ; and thy cries 90 

Reach to the heavens, Jerusalem is fallen. 

The iron rives her heart. Her little ones 

Are dash'd in fury on the cruel rocks. 

Her virgins, and her mothers great with child, 

Speak not of them. Her priests and elders lie, 

Their silvery reverend hair defiled with blood, 

Even where they fell, upon the ghastly hills. 

Fire wraps her ramparts round : the clouds are live 

With vengeance ; and the stars shoot withering flame ; 

And her slain armies block the narrow gates 100 

And causeways of the city : for the cup 

Of her last agony is in her hand, 

And now she drinks it to the bitter dregs. 



313 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. ' BOOK 

A shout of fiendish triumph ! They have storm'd 
With ruinous battering-rams the temple doors, 
And now upon the holiest mercy-seat, 
Betwixt the golden cherubim, instal 
The proud usurper of Jehovah's name : 
And out of human lips there came a voice, 
Like man's voice, from the trinity of hell j 10 

AY it hin that breast, three voices heard as one, 
Most terrible : u This is the hour of fate. 
God has abandoned earth ; and I assume 
The vacant throne of vanquished Deity. 
Worship me, all ye gods/' Straightway arose 
The swell of adoration \ and the hosts 
Of darkness, mingling with the sons of men, 
Sang triumph to the three in equal strains, 
" Hail, Satan, Ashtaroth, and Baalim ! 
Triunity of darkness, hail, all hail V* 120 

But, even as the echoes sank, behold, 
Tyrannic jealousy, too long suppressed, 
Burst forth, as nitrous powder toueh'd by flame, 
In Satan's heart; — torment intolerable ! — 
Ah, fool ! to think that concord, born of heaven, 
Could bind in lasting league infernal hate ! — 
Thus pondering, — " Was it then for this I left 
My archangelic primacy of light ? 
In realms of darkness to be one of three ? 
One of three only? I, who know myself 130 

Worthy of monarchy ? Monarch I am, 



X.] THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 319 

And will be : none shall share my gloomy throne, 
Dark, solitary, unapproachable." 

Nor Baalim, meanwhile, that lordly fiend, 
Conceived less envy of great Ashtaroth, 
Nor Ashtaroth of him : which Satan saw 
Well pleased, and now dilated rose sublime, 
Hovering on what appeared cherubic wings, 
Above the clouds, and fostering, as he rose, 
The horrid feud in his associate gods, 140 

Till envy grew to wrath, and wrath to rage, 
And rage to deadly warfare. They, for oft 
Passions with spirits are instantaneous acts, 
And thoughts are deeds, in no unequal strife 
Guile matched with guile, might militant with might, 
Wrestled within that narrow battle-field, 
The impious breast of Antichrist, until 
Their miserable victim foaming writhed 
Convulsed, and strengthless lay as dead ; and then, 
Each on his fellow scowling dire revenge, 150 

Forth from that fleshly tenement they came, 
And parted right and left. Flocked around each 
An army of the rebel spirits. Swords flashed 
Infernal fires ; and in the sulphurous air 
The embattled clouds were squadrons locked in fight, 
By Satan both infuriate, who thus 
Madly against himself divided fought 
A duel ghastlier far than that which drenched 
The ramparts of Jerusalem with blood, 



'320 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. [BOOK 

And from the trembling* fugitives, who cowered 160 

Behind Elijah's mantle, wrung the cry, 

" How long, O Lord, how long? Why tarriest Thou?" 

That hour, what time the hideous din of war, 
Fiends in their fury'' overshadowing furious men, 
Was at its worst, a blast more terrible 
Than all the dread artillery of earth, 
Vomiting iron hail in one discharge, 
AppalFd the firmament. A silence fell 
Sudden, as if all hearts had ceased to beat, 
Upon the madding combatants : and lo, 170 

The sound of distant chariot-wheels was heard 
Rolling in heaven. Nearer and nearer still 
The rush of naming millions, and the tramp 
Like as of fiery chivalry. But, hark ! 
A voice : it is the shout of God. Behold ! 
A light : it is the glory of the Lord. 
And thither, where the marshalled hosts of hell 
Opposed the densest gloom, onward He rode 
Almighty, — a devouring fire, — no room 
For flight, no space for idle penitence, iso 

No thought of prayer, no lurking-place to shun 
The lightnings of His omnipresent Eye. 
First as it seemed (though sequence in the acts 
Of the Eternal needs not lapse of time) 
Upon the rebel spirits He rained His wrath, 
Till from the mightiest to the least they lay 
Under His fiery horse-hoofs crushed. Of all 



X.] THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 321 

From hell's dark triad singling 1 Baalim 

And Ashtaroth in everlasting chains, 

Chains such as spiritual essences may hold, 190 

These twain He bound, and, stamping with His foot, 

Asunder by the act appeared to cleave 

Whatever subtle or solid lay betwixt 

His presence and Gehenna's burning floor : 

And in the right hand of Omnipotence 

Grasping huge Baalim, and in the left 

The lustful Ashtaroth, He hurFd them down 

Like meteors through the lurid vault, and fixM 

Their adamantine fetters to a rock 

Of adamant, submerged but unconsumed 200 

Beneath the lake of fire. Nor paused He then, 

But pointing where the vanquished Arch-fiend lay 

Crouching in agony, bade Michael seize 

The spiritless spirit of evil, and convoy 

Him and the countless myriads of the lost 

In chains to their Tartarean prison. Straightway 

The God-like chief descending with the key 

Of Hades and a ponderous chain, to which 

Earth's mightiest cable were a strand of tow, 

Grasp'd his dread captive, once his peerless peer 210 

In glory, now his miserable prey, 

And bore him manacled and fettered forth, 

And with him his dejected hosts, beneath 

An equal escort of angelic guards, 

To their own place of doom. O dreadful march ! 

O yet more dreadful issue ! Hell had seen 

Y 



322 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. [BOOK 

Terrific sights ere now, within her depths 

Receiving hecatombs of dead at once, 

But never ruin like this. For lo, meanwhile 

The King of glory, on the chariot clouds 220 

Riding serene, shot blasts of flaming fire, 

As from a furnace, from His opening lips 

On Israel's conquerors. The murderer's arm 

Was stricken in the very act to strike : 

The ravisher was rapt by death, and lay 

Blasted before his shrieking captive's feet : 

And to the wild and dissonant cries of men, 

Calling upon their gods, the sole response 

Which Heaven, too long insulted, now vouchsafed 

Was storm, and tempest, and hot burning coals — 230 

Horrible hail. Nor only on the hills 

Of Judah fell the whirlwind of God's wrath, 

But through all lands and seas (for the whole earth 

From pole to pole was wrapt in clouds and flame) 

Whoever bore the mark of Baalim, 

Or bow'd the knee to Ashtaroth, on him 

The wrath-beam fell, distinguishing the rest 

Who, though they knew not fellowship with God, 

Knew not communion with the spirits of hell. 

Wherefore not ruin'd fiends alone that day 240 

Were captive led captivity, and throng'd 

The roadway to the abysmal pit with groans, 

But with them crowds of disembodied souls, 

Such as till now the portals of the grave 

Had never received, a hideous spectacle, 






X.] THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 323 

Each heart a fathomless profound of woe, 
Each spirit the wreck of everlasting' life. 

How art thou fallen, Lucifer, from heaven, 
Son of the Morning ! Hell beneath is moved 
To meet thee at thy coming ; and the dead, 250 

The chiefs and potentates of elder time, 
Stirr'd from the silent calm of their despair, 
Flock round thee. Narrowly they scan thy face, 
And ask, astonied, " Art thou one of us ? 
All heartless, nerveless, passionless as we ? 
Thou that would' st wrestle with Omnipotence, 
And plant thy seat above the stars of God, 
And soar beyond the azure clouds that veil 
The throne of the Eternal ?'* 

Through their ranks 
By Michael led, with downcast louring looks, 260 

Answering them never a word, he slowly passed 
To his own place of woe. Over against 
The fissure, where the brazen floor of hell 
Yawned to receive his ruin'd mates in guilt, 
And yawning closed again, there was he bound 
In adamantine fetters, and beneath 
The unclouded terrors of the Eye of God. 
And next to him was Moloch, his swarth brow 
Darkened with tenfold gloom : and next to him 
Mammon, whose boundless wealth of artifice 270 

Purchased no solace in this house of chains : 

y 2 



324 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. [BOOK 

And next, ruthless Apollyon, — he who showed 

No mercy found none here. Nor far away 

Was Sammael, blind leader of the blind ; 

Nor Lailah, prince of night. But why prolong 

Memorials of the damn'd, or fiends, or men ? 

Or measure their immeasurable loss, 

Immeasurable, hopeless, limitless, 

Who lay in torments, prisoners of wrath, 

Waiting the judgment of the last assize ? 280 

Meanwhile Messiah, from the tempest clouds 
Descending, calmed the terrors of His brow, 
And drew His garment of celestial light 
About Him, rainbow-fringed, until His feet 
Rested on Olivet. Beneath Him lay 
Jerusalem in flames, and all the air 
GlowM with intensity of heat. But lo, 
His people underneath His shadowing wings, 
And hidden in the hollow of His hand, 
The remnant which the sword of war had left, 290 

Pelt not the breath of those devouring flames. 
Heard not the roar of those wild cataracts 
Of fire, nor knew what time the solid earth 
Was moved as ocean by the wintry wind. 
They only saw Messiah's glorious form ; 
They only heard His voice ; they only knew, 
As the three children in the burning kiln, 
That they were with their Lord, their Lord with them. 
Other spectators than the Bride were none, 



X.] THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 325 

When now, as once in Egypt's royal courts 300 

Young Joseph drew his brethren to his heart 

And kiss'd and wept upon them tears of joy, 

The Prince of glory veiPd His glory' anew 

In tenderness of most forgiving love. 

But when the dreadful cloud of fire and smoke, 

Which brooded on those hills, was cleared, behold 

The mountain of the Lord had risen sublime 

Above the mountains : Olivet was cleft 

Asunder to the North and to the South ; 

And a vast vale, with sudden verdure clad, 310 

Stretched toward the former and the hinder sea, 

A paradise of fruits. And far aloof 

Mount Zion, marvellous to see, was crowned 

W r ith a resplendent city (whether this 

Were the immediate handiwork of God, 

Or of angelic ministries) where shone 

Like gold a temple supereminent 

In dazzling sheen, and thence on either side 

A river of perennial waters flow'd 

In ever-deepening waves of crystal life. 320 

The voice o' the Lord is on the waters ! Hark, 
Not now in thunder with red lightnings winged, 
Making the everlasting mountains bow 
And the scathed forests shiver : but hark, a Voice 
Is heard above the troubled elements, 
A low clear Voice, which whispers, " Peace, be still/' 
And all the winds have sunk to gentle breaths, 



326 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. [BOOK 

And, as on vex'd Gennesaret of old 

When He rebuked the raging winds and waves, 

There is a mighty calm. The broken clouds 330 

Melt into colours, like a dream. The Sun 

Of righteousness with healing in His wings 

Has risen upon a world weary of night, 

Most glorious, where emergent from the flood, 

That from far Lebanon to Kadesh rolled 

Its waves of fire baptismal, Zion rose 

In perfect beauty. There the Light of Light 

Entering His temple courts assumed His throne, 

And from the unveiFd golden mercy-seat, 

His Bride beside Him, and His angel guards 340 

About Him in their radiant phalanxes, 

A pattern on the earth of things in heaven, 

Sent forth His embassies of grace. No shade 

Obscured His beatific countenance ; 

For in that holy temple all was love, 

And in that holy city all was light, 

Which lightened, far as human eye could reach, 

The outmost confines of Emmanuel's land. 

Yet deem not of His Presence as restrict 
There only, where those pure Shekinah beams 350 

Gladdened Jerusalem, nor limited 
By measurable accidents of time, 
Who fills all space Incomprehensible, 
And dwells the Highest in the highest heavens, 
And spans the breadth, and circumscribes the depth, 



X.] THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 827 

Inhabiting eternity. For now, 

While quickening the Millennial earth with life, 

And sending forth ambassadors of peace 

From Zion to all lands and seas, the Prince 

With us, His Bride, was customed to withdraw, 36o 

Where far above the clouds His throne was set 

Within the purple curtains of the sky, 

But lower than the starry heavens, and there 

Commune with us of all the solemn past 

And all the dawning future. One by one 

We stood before Him. One by one He spake 

With us, conversing of our mortal life 

And heavenly home ; and words of grateful praise, 

As the fidelity of each appeared, 

Fell from His lips. Nor were His servants' falls, 370 

Wrong done and good undone, concealed that day : 

But being all was now forgiven and cleansed, 

And being it was the Bridegroom's Eye that judged, 

And being we were members of one Bride, 

Brothers and sisters in one home of love, 

The retrospect but bound us, each and all, 

Closer to Him who washed us in His blood, 

And closer to each other, when we saw 

Our debt of service by another paid. 

For envy had no foothold there. Pure love, 380 

Beaming upon regenerate spirits, had left 

No film of that pollution. What was most 

For His eternal glory whom we loved, 

And for our brethren's purest happiness, 



828 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. [BOOK 

FulfilPd all hearts with rapture to the brim, 

And more than fill'd : they overflowed with love, 

And drank in light till* they could hold no more, 

All full, though fulness not the same to all, 

As dewdrops, fountains, streams, and argent lakes, 

Albeit with diverse breadth and brilliancy, 390 

Reflect one rising sun. If grief were there, 

In memory of so little done for Him 

Who had done all for us, it was that grief 

Which, while it chastens, only deepens joy, 

Seeing the mantle of His love was thrown 

Over the past, and henceforth it was ours 

To see, adore, and serve Him without end. 

And there and then, as when a monarch's son. 

The heir apparent of a mighty realm, 

Well pleased in that his father's will is his, 400 

Fixes his love upon some lowly maid 

Of noble ancestry though faded wealth, 

But, ere he brings her to her palace home, 

Instructs her in all gentle courtesies, 

And in such queenly graces, as beseem 

The bride of one whom nations own their prince, 

But chiefly tells her of his father's love, 

His glory, and his goodness, and his grace, 

Until her heart travels before her steps 

To see the sire beloved of her beloved : — 410 

So, hour by hour, through that millennial day. 

In the pavilion of the heavens recluse, 



X.] THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 329 

As in the active royalties of earth, 
Messiah taught His virgin Bride to long 
For full fruition of the light of God, 
A rapture inconceivable before, 
And only from His own lips to be learned. 

Meanwhile on earth the Sabbath morn, that rose 
In its first freshness on Emmanuel's land, 
Scattered its glory o'er the nations. Realms, 420 

For ages mantled with the pall of death, 
Woke and arose to life. The ocean waves 
Caught the far splendour, and the winds of heaven 
Wafted the tidings on. Evangelists, 
Of whom the least was mightier in God's might 
Than that prophetic voice by Jordan's banks, 
Went forth from Salem. All the powers of hell 
Were bound, and not a rebel spirit abroad : 
But angels plied their ministry unchecked, 
Untired. And human hearts, weary of sin, 430 

Weary of warfare, weary of themselves, 
Welcomed with shouts the messengers of peace 
Upon the morning mountains. Beautiful 
Their steps, and beauty follow'd where they trod ; 
For ever, like a crown of holy flame 
Wreathing their brows, the Pentecostal Spirit 
Moved in the wastes of darkness ; and again 
God said, Let there be light : and there was light. 

Creation, which had groan'd in travail-pangs 



330 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. [BOOK 

Together with her children until now, 440 

Ceased from her groaning. Long-forgotten smiles, 

The smiles of her sweet childhood's innocence, 

Stole o'er her happy face. The wilderness 

Rejoiced, and blossomed as the rose. The curse, 

"Which for six thousand years had sear'd the heart 

Of nature, was repealed. And where the thorn 

Perplexed the glens, and prickly briars the hills, 

Now, for the Word so spake and it was done, 

The fir-tree reared its stately obelisk, 

The cedar waved its arms of peaceful shade, 450 

The vine embraced the elm, and myrtles flowered 

Among the fragrant orange-groves. No storms 

Yex'd the serene of heaven : but genial mists, 

Such as in Eden drenched the willing soil, 

Nurtured all lands with richer dews than balm. 

Earth breathed her thanks. Rivers of living waters 

Broke from a thousand unsuspected springs ; 

And gushing cataracts, like that called forth 

On Horeb by the rod of Amram^s son, 

Gladdened the mountain slopes, and coursed adowrt 46o 

The startled denies, till the crystal wealth, 

Gathered in what was once an arid vale, 

A lake of azure and of silver shone, 

A mirror for the sun and moon and stars. 

Peace reign'd. Antipathies of kind were now 
Things of the past. The wolf and yearling lamb 
Were playmates ; and the leopard and the kid 



X.] THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 33]. 

Gamboll'd together on one knoll ; the steer 

And lion grazed one herbage, and the ox 

Couched with the bear on one luxurious sward. 470 

Nor of the advent of the Prince of peace 

Lacked the calm sea its symbols, nor the sky. 

Dolphins and sharks in many a sunny creek 

Together basked at noon ; and glittering shoals 

Made mirth around the huge leviathan. 

Nor less, as I have seen, the king of birds, 

Would bear the cushat dove upon its wings 

Into the morning sunlight ; while beneath 

The swallow and the vulture only vied 

In speed, disporting o'er the woods and waves, 480 

And now in air and ocean, as on earth, 

A holy fear of man, Nature's true priest, 

Subdued all creatures to his will. His word 

Was law. Even the infant stretched its hand, 

Its tiny hand, towards the cockatrice, 

Now seen, now hidden in its den ; and children 

Play'd with. the innocent asp, wreathing a coil 

Of burnish' d gold and opal round the neck, 

Or as a bracelet round the dimpled arm. 

Freed from the curse, the grateful garden gave 490 

Its fruits in goodly revenue. Nor frost 

Nor blight nor mildew fell ; nor canker-worm 

Nor caterpillar marr'd one ripening hope. 

The clouds dropped fatness. The very elements 

Were subject to the prayerful will of those, 

Whose pleasure was in unison with God's. 



332 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. [BOOK 

There winter was as summer : summer there, 

Attempered with soft dews and cooling winds, 

Appeared in sevenfold glory ; for the moon 

Was as the sun in that pellucid air, 500 

The sun as seven days' light in one condensed. 

And when the sun had set nor moon had risen, 

The lesser glories of the stars shone forth, 

As flames fair Venus in the Eastern heavens, 

Or lordly Jupiter. 

War was unknown ; 
The brotherhood of nations unrelax'd : 
Swords now were ploughshares, spears were pruning- 

hooks, 
And all the enginery of battle shown 
As trophies of the victory of love. 

Babel's confusion was unlearned. And one 510 

Melodious language, wherein every thought 
Found utterance, overspread the circling globe, 
A language worthy of the sons of God. 
No labour now was lost. Commerce diffused 
From pole to pole the gifts of every clime, 
And spread her sails to every wind that blew, 
Though love, not greed of lucre, held the helm. 
But chiefly to Jerusalem and fro 
The drift of ceaseless traffic set ; for there 
David, vicegerent, sate on David's throne ; 520 

And on their thrones of judgment round about, 
Judging the tribes of Israel, the twelve 



X.] THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 833 

Who sometime suffered with a suffering Lord 

Reign'd in His glorious reign. Mercy and truth 

Met in His presence : righteousness and peace 

Kissed each the other underneath His eye. 

His people were a royalty of priests, 

And offered in His temple ceaseless prayer 

And incense of uninterrupted praise. 

Thither the nations flocked. There every doubt 530 

Was solved : there perfect equity held sway. 

No wrong, but there was instantly redressed ; 

No right, but there was gloriously confirmed : 

For Zion was the mercy-seat of earth, 

The footstool of the throne of God ; where faith 

Had clearest evidence of things unseen, 

And hope climb'd easiest up the golden stairs 

Scaling the heavens, and love, pure passionate love, 

Saw the Beloved One and was at rest. 

Yet deem not this millennial Sabbath knew 540 

The perfectness of that which was to come, 
Save in Emmanuel's land. There all was light : 
And all the holy race of Abraham 
Were clothed in priestly robes, spotless as snow. 
But elsewhere good was prevalent, not perfect, 
Not universal. Evil lurlrd unseen 
In hearts that strove against the striving Spirit, 
And at rare intervals appeared ; though wrath 
Then quickly flashing from Messiah's throne 
Branded the sinner with a curse like Cain's ; 550 



334 THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. [BOOK 

And vice crouch'd before virtue. Nor was death 
Wholly unknown ; though now, as ere the flood, 
Decades were centuries of life. Enough 
Remained to witness of the awful past, 
And warn the nations of the dread To be. 

Nor prophecy was mute. But, fnTd with joy, 
Little thought men of twilight shadows ever 
Falling upon their day of rest : so bright 
The morn, so cloudless the meridian sun ; 
So calm the after ages as they rolled. 56o 

Earth teemed with life. Connubial love tecall'd 
The freshness of the bowers of Paradise ; 
And rosy infancy and childhood smiled 
In every homestead ; and the heart of youth 
Opened its buds and blossoms to the light, 
Unchill'd by devilish lust. Disease had fled. 
Nor wounds, though rare, lacked healing from the leaves 
That grew beside the crystal stream of life, 
Forth issuing from Emmanuel's throne. But who 
May tell the stillness, who the melodies 570 

Of that great Sabbath's sabbaths, when the voices 
Of the whole world were hushed in silent prayer, 
Or in successive Hallelujahs rolled 
From shore to shore along the circling hours ? 
But chiefly' in thee, O Zion, where the Prince 
Held court, and His seraphic minstrelsies 
In mortal hearing touch'd immortal harp.-, 
And filFd earth's temple with the sounds of heaven. 



X.] THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH. 335 

There on their thrones the crowned hierarchs 

Sate in due course : and oftentimes it seemed 580 

As if the deep-blue sky was rent asunder, 

Till they who worshipped, through cherubic wings 

Unfolding like a woven veil of light, 

Beheld Messiah and His Bride in glory, 

And angels up and down those radiant stairs 

Ascending and descending, on their quests 

Of mercy and high embassies of power. 

Thus visions seen far off, and sung of old 
By holy seers and prophets, grasped by faith 
And longed for, though the half could ne'er be told 590 
In language, nor by hope itself conceived, 
Had now accomplishment — a waking bliss, 
The rest foreshadowed for the Church of God, 
The golden eve of everlasting day. 



END OF THE TENTH BOOK. 



336 



BOOK XL 

THE LAST JUDGMENT. 

When first the armies of the blest, recalled 

By Michael's trumpet, left the gloomy depths 

Of Hades, where the damned, fiends and men. 

Lay in the gulf of Tartarus overthrown, 

There was an outcry as of those who wept, 

And gnashing as of teeth, and passionate groans 

Of spirits in pain, and clanking as of fetters, 

That filPd those dolorous abodes, though used 

To every sight and every sound of woe, 

With unimaginable dread, the first 10 

Loud wail of endless bottomless despair. 

But when, as those Sabbatic ages rolFd, 

The Omnipresent Eye of Righteousness 

Rested on each, nor moved, nor swerved, nor changed, 

Nor of its terrors mitigated aught, — 

Eternal Equity enveloping 

The passions of iniquity with flame, — 

The cries grew fainter and more faint, until 

Oppressive silence like a leaden weight 






THE LAST JUDGMENT. 337 

Brooded upon the Deep unbroken, save 20 

When some dark memory of forgotten guilt 
Flashed on a tortured conscience, and a low 
Moan of remorse bewailed in that red stain 
An added anguish for eternity. 

Yes, there was silence, silence but no sleep : 
Sleep on the weary eyelids of the lost 
Hath never rested, nor can rest : and thought 
Was terribly awake in every heart, 
Traversing and retraversing the past, 
And auguring at times with frightful truth 30 

The interminable future. But in none 
Tyrannic conscience stirr'd such inward storm 
As in the Arch-apostate. For long while 
Nor moan, nor motion in his fettered limbs, 
Nor sign upon his faded brow betrayed 
The suppressed agony : but at the last, 
Like Pharaoh scourged by those resistless plagues 
Which crush'd, but could not kill his obstinate pride, 
In a low whisper that yet thrill'd through hell, 
As one communing with himself he said, 40 

" The Lord is righteous ; I and mine have sinn'd." 

And now that he had spoken, others spake : 
And each, beneath his individual load 
Of guilt and punishment and fear, confessed 
The madness and the bitterness of crime. 
Their words were few : but in that heavy air 

z 



338 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

They sounded like the muffled bell that tolls 

Above a murderer ere he dies. Sometimes 

A fiend in torments thought of early days 

And raptures now for ever lost, and moan'd, 50 

u Fool, fool, to barter heaven for endless hell ! " 

And sometimes one with fearful balancing 

Would weigh the pleasures 'gainst the pains of sin, 

And with a sigh of desperate remorse 

Inly would murmur, " Tekel." But with most 

The judgment and the wrath to come fulfill'd 

Their dark imaginings with darker dread, — 

" The worst not come ; yet what of terrible 

Can ever be more terrible than this V 1 

Thus centuries rolled slowly by : and now Co 

Earth's holy Sabbath of Millennial rest 
Was drawing to its outmost verge, when lo, 
Once more through those vast depths reverberate 
The voice of the Arch-adversary pierced, 
Though weak and painful, fearfully distinct ; 
As not in guile, for guile was useless now 
When God's Eye through and through searched out the 

folds 
Of next to infinite duplicity : 
Submiss, but not in penitence or grief, 
He thus gave broken utterance to thoughts, 70 

Fruit of a thousand years of agony : 

n 5 <•>, we have sinned, I most, I chiefly; and ye 3 



XT.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 339 

My comrades in apostasy and pain, 
Have sinn'd in following me. Madness to deem 
We could do battle with Almighty Power, 
Or with a measurable guile elude 
The counsels of immeasurable Light ! 
Enough : I see it now. Yet what remains ? 
The past is even to Omnipotence 

Irrevocable. Shall we humbly sue 80 

For mercy, and fall low before the throne, 
And all on bended knees send up one cry, 
* Spare us, O Lord ! who bitterly repent 
Of our stupendous folly and misdeeds/ — 
And urge the prayer, if it must needs be so, 
For ten times ten Millennial days like this, 
Or that re-multiplied a thousand times 
Ten thousand (an eternity beyond 
Would swallow this as ocean sucks a shower) , 
Until our tide of importunity, 90 

Swelling above the songs of Cherubim, 
Obtain at last from wearied Justice that 
Which Justice might unblamed deny to less 
Unconquerable resolve ? But is it true 
We bitterly repent us of our deeds ? 
Ah ! comrades, search your hearts as I search mine. 
The issue we repent, but not the act. 
Of all our multitudes, racked as we are, 
Is there one grieved for having grieved his God ? 
Is there one bosom that could ever glow 100 

With love towards Him who cast us hither down ? 
z 2 



340 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

One right hand that could ever touch again 

The string of Hallelujah? I trow not. 

Others may do' it — think of them if ye will, 

Haply with envy — but not we. Our spirits 

Are wrenched for ever and averse from God. 

Thus much at least this torturing flame reveals. 

And knowing no repentance, in God's ear 

What would avail us words of penitence ? 

Tush, would Eternal Justice be cajoled, no 

Or wearied with our importunities ? 

It cannot be : there is no streak of light. 

For man, tempted by us, by us seduced, 

The Son of the Eternal must needs die, 

Die in his stead, ere Mercy could prevail, 

And God's Great Spirit descending recreate 

His marr'd and shattered image. But for us 

No Christ has shed His blood ; no Spirit of love 

In my obdurate conscience or in yours 

Awakens one response. It cannot be. 120 

Our lot is irredeemable : our fall 

Is final : we are damn'd for evermore." 

Again was silence for a space in hell, 

So terrible, that only the quick breath 

i 

Of spirits in pain was heard like tongues of flame 

Sibilant in the sultry atmosphere : 

But shortly, Satan sighing thus resumed : 

" That which is done can never be undone. 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 34d 

Believe me, I who led you on to ruin, 

And as is righteous suffer most, have tried 130 

All pathways of return, and thought, and thought, 

Till thought itself was vacancy and reeled 

Upon the giddy pinnacle it clomb, — 

There is no hope. How is that possible, 

Which we can never ask, nor God vouchsafe ? 

Friends, reconciliation cannot be, 

Nor war, nor peace : one thing alone remains, — 

Submission. Underneath His scorching Eye 

Who knows what anguish this averment costs, 

Who knows herein I utter all my heart, \ 40 

I say submission to His iron rod 

Whose golden sceptre we have spurned for ever ; 

Here lies the only unction for our woes : 

Submission, which persisted in, despite 

All cravings from without and from within, 

May bring at least escape from this abyss, 

And from the fiercer lake which burns below. 

Hearken, ye know upon the scrolls of truth 

It stands recorded, when the Sabbath rest 

Is o'er, we shall be loosened from our chains 150 

A little season. Wherefore ? for man's sake ? 

Not wholly : God deals equally with all. 

One trial more is there accorded us. 

'Tis true, the oracle proceeds, that we 

Shall quickly with mankind conspire again 

To mar His reign, and lead the apostate earth 

Against the embattled army of His saints : 



342 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

But this is ours to do, or not to do. 

There is no Fate, as once I madly thought, 

Which writes decrees immutably ordained J 60 

Other than creature will, and increate 

Foreknowledge of the workings of that will 

In Him who governs all. And for myself, 

This by my right hand have I straitly sworn, — 

Never, if instant monarchy were mine, 

Never to gratify revenge or pride, 

Never, ye all soliciting the deed, 

Insensate, never will I raise an arm 

Against Omniscient and Eternal Power." 

He paused, and hollow murmurs of assent, 1 70 

Such murmurs at midnight the desert wind 
Wakes in Gomorrah's dead mephitic sea, 
Crept over the abyss : so pleasing seemed 
The least abatement of their vivid pangs. 
And readily they pledged their dismal oath, 
If only' escape from this Tartarean pit 
Were granted, never more to violate 
With deeds of rapine or designs of wrong 
The kingdom of the Prince of Peace. Ah, fools, 
Tempters too long, who now misdeemed themselves iso 
In their own might against temptation proof ! 

But barely had the echo of their words 
Died in the gloomy distances of night, 
When lo, the thing they longed for, was : their chains 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 843 

Were loosened : the terrific flame of fire 

Assuaged its lightnings : the infernal gates 

Recoiling by some viewless hand were thrown 

Wide open ; and a Dreadful Voice proclaimed, 

" The roadway of return to earth is free ; 

But touch not mankind lest far worse ensue." ] 90 

Straightway, like that Apocalyptic smoke 
By John seen rising from the bottomless pit, 
Whence issued swarms of locusts on the earth 
All arm'd for battle, — through the open gates 
Of terror-stricken Hades they ascended, 
And through that lustreless defile of clouds 
Which led to the expanse, and through the fields 
Of ether, and the blasted stars which paled 
Sensibly as their ruinous train swept by, 
Startling the sons of men. But 'mongst them soon 200 
Arriving, to their old familiar haunts 
Of earth, or air, or ocean, they repaired — 
Unheralded, except Creation sighed 
Through all her lengths and breadths and depths and 

heights 
A sigh prophetic of her latest pangs. 

Three days the prince of darkness, day and night, 
Though night was now what day had once appealed, 
Flew with disastrous pinion to and fro 
Over the renovated earth. No shore 
Escaped his gloomy visitation. Straight 210 



344 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

From Arctic to Antarctic climes he pass'd, 

And in the dubious light from East to West, 

Only so steering his pernicious course 

As to avoid Emmanuers saintly land, 

Outstripped the rising sun. The glorious sight 

FilFd him with envy and amaze : so soon 

His footprints, as it seem'd, had been effaced : 

So transient evil's film ; so naturally 

Goodness and mercy had reclaimed their own. 

Not that the sparse and rare remains of ill 220 

Escaped his sympathetic eye, or fail'd 

TV awaken pleasure in the Evil One : 

But these were few and far. The earth was full 

Of gladness ; and her hymns of ceaseless praise, 

Rich with the music of his Rival's name, 

Grated worse discord in his ear than all 

HelFs wailings. But for full three days and nights 

The memory of his dark Millennial prison 

And his late dominant resolve suppressed, 

Albeit with inward agony untold, 230 

Utterance of hatred or by deed or word 

Or louring frown. 

But then, as morning broke, 
It chanced he lighted there where Penuel, — 
The seraph who first dropped on heaven's bright floor 
Such contrite tears as the unfalTn may weep, — 
Shed fragrance on the bridal couch of two 
Only last eve united in the links 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 345 

Of marriage. Through her half-closed lids the bride 

Glanced bashfully upon her sleeping spouse 

As glad to find him not awaked, that she 240 

Might gaze emboldened with less burning cheek 

Upon his lofty brow. Sweetly she quafFd 

The odours, and imbibed the quickened air, 

Nor knew the perfume was from heavenly bowers, 

Nor human love was fanned by angel wings. 

It was a scene of which the happy earth 

Had myriads not unlike. But Penuel's watch, 

So like his own in Eden o'er the sleep 

Of our first parents, stirred such fell despite, 

Such envy' and enmity and withering pride 250 

In Satan's breast, that, when the seraph flew, 

His errand done, swift as a beam of light, 

To Zion's golden gates and thence to heaven, 

The fiend no more refrain'd himself, but scowl'd 

Defiance on the sky, and spake aloud : 

" God, this is worse than hell. Here rent in twain 
Myself against myself wage deadly strife. 
What see I here but love ? innocent love ? 
Love, which I share not, nor can ever share, 
But crave with inextinguishable desire 260 

To shrivel all its beauty like a scroll 
Now and for ever. What forefends ? Not God, 
Or He had never brought me hither again. 
Nor His bright winged ministries : mine arm 
Hath not yet lost its native puissance : 



346 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

Nor men, too easy victims, flesh and blood, 

Unfenced in spotless purity like those 

Who fell in Eden, and through long disuse 

Untaught to cope with cruelty and craft. 

What hinders ? Nothing but my mighty oath, 

Sworn only to myself and mine, from which 

I therefore can absolve myself and them ; 

And they, so willing, loose themselves and me. 

Ha ! my strong lust wrestles with my resolve, 

Which waxes weak and weaker every pulse. 

The inevitable end approaches. Death, 

Whatever death may be to spirits like us, 

Were better than this riven and ruptured life. 

But haply, ere we perish, we shall drink, 

Sweeter than nectar to our lips, the cup 280 

Of desolating desperate revenge/'' 

And like a cloud with tempest charged, which rolls 
Suddenly o'er the azure firmament 
Its darkness in the teeth of wind, he swept 
Over a sleeping world. Little recked men 
Of danger. But his gloomy hosts he found 
Beyond his utmost expectation ripe 
For new revolt. Their will, less strong than his, 
Had struggled less against temptation's tide : 
Their foresight less was sooner at a fault : 290 

Brief easement banished centuries of pain. 
Had they not fasted a Millennial fast 
From deeds of violence and wrong? And now. 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 347 

As prowls a pack of lean and hungry wolves 

Driven by fierce winter from Siberian steppes 

Around a camp's fast waning fires, they fix'd 

Their ravenous glances on a world which lay 

Basking in unsuspicious Sabbath rest, — 

Near and delicious booty. Every hour 

Inflamed them ; and their fretting cowardice 300 

Only awaited one to lead them forth, 

Fit captain for fit crew. 

The time was short ; 
But fiendish malice made short work. The earth 
Was of one speech and language. Myriads teemed 
In former wilds : and all the sons of men 
Were linked in countless bonds of intercourse. 
No wasting war checked the full tide of life. 
Oceans were walls no more, but voyaged now, 
No storms occurrent, with electric speed 
Were highways of the nations. Science ask'd 310 

Of Nature's limitless munificence 
Vast largesses, nor met refusal : love 
Won easily what she had grudged to lust ; 
Millennial life ripening her fruits. All lands 
Were wont to gather now in holy tryst 
At Zion's glad memorial festivals 
With greater ease than Israel of old 
Flocked to the temple gates of Solomon. 
Thought circulated like the light. Mankind 
Was one great family, and earth one home : 320 



348 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

Source of innumerable joys, when all 

Was purity and evil was unknown, 

Or known was instantly repressed with good ; 

But of infectious pestilence, if once 

The foe infuse his venom unobserved 

Into the human heart, — which now befell. 

Watchman, what of the night ? Night is far spent : 
Morn is at hand, the morn of endless day. 
Broods yet a tempest ? Yet the last, hell's last 
Expiring struggle, heaven's last victory : 330 

Beyond is cloudless light and perfect peace. 

Yet seemed it passing miracle, that they, 
Who lived beneath the shadow of the throne, 
And saw the glory of the Prince, and knew 
That Canaan, of earth's provinces elect, 
Was as His temple, Israel His priests, 
The Church His Bride, and holy seraphim 
The servants of His pleasure, they should heed 
Infatuate the Arch-tempter's glozing speech 
And yield — how easily deceived, how soon 340 

Deceivers ! It was passing miracle. 
God only knows the fathomless profound 
Of man. Yet peradventure otherwise, 
Maugre the lessons of six thousand years, 
Earth, mother of the human race, and nurse 
Of countless generations yet unborn, 
Had rested in her native strength, nor learn'd 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 349 

The creature by itself can never stand, 

Mutable, fallible, and on its God 

For righteousness dependent as for life. 350 

Pride falls for ever now : and lowliness 

Meekly receives her amaranthine crown. 

But the last strife was terrible. Each fiend 
Was now as Satan, trained in guilt and guile, 
Student and scholar of the human heart, 
And skilful when and where to show himself 
Clad in angelic light. Quickly they saw 
The perilous exaltation free from fear 
Of those who revelFd in Millennial peace. 
They marked the easy avenue. They gauged 360 

The powers of man, the limits of his power, 
And what beyond was feasible to hope : 
Long life was his, not immortality ; 
Swift motion, but not flight ; far-reaching fields 
Of knowledge, but yet wider lay beyond ; 
Earth was earth ; men were men, not angels ; saints, 
Not seraphs ; though celestial intercourse 
Was oft within terrestrial homes vouchsafed. 
Hence first the spirits of evil in men's hearts, 
Echoing the serpent's lie a million times, 370 

Clandestinely infused mistrust, and plied 
The vacillating will with hateful doubt : 
Could that be love which circumscribed their power ? 
Why were they fettered to this narrow orb ? 



350 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

Why not, as angels, free to range the heavens ? 

Why this delay of glory ? Could it be 

That He, who gave so much, begrudged them more ? 

Nor marvel, if such thoughts, which once avaiPd 

To drag archangels from their thrones, had power 

To baffle unsuspecting human hearts, 380 

To try their faith who leaned upon their God, 

And taint the rest. No longer instant wrath 

Visibly on transgression fell. For now, 

As once on Sinai in awed Israel's sight, 

God had retired into His secret place 

Of thunder, and had wrapt His glory round 

In swaddling-bands of darkness. Hell meanwhile 

Emboldened showed its lying signs of power 

And fiery portents in the sky : till earth, 

Heaven's mirror late, became again the haunt 390 

Of fear, suspicion, hatred, violence, — 

All save Emmanuel's land. Yet think not all 

Fell from their loyalty. Myriads were found 

Faithful in every region under heaven. 

And speedily, for half a week of years 

Saw this rebellion schemed and swoll'n and crush'd, 

War reassumed her bloody car, her sons 

Wielding infernal powers unguess'd of yore, 

And drave the saints before her : not a few, 

Like Enoch, rapt from the tumultuous strife 400 

To the calm presence of the Prince of Peace, 

Companions of the Virgin Bride : the rest 






XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 351 

Flocking by day and night, by land and sea, 
Under the shadow of that holy cloud 
Which o'er the height of Zion hung sublime. 

But now the foe infuriated draws 
All nations from the fourfold winds, himself 
Incarnate, and in blasphemous despair 
Or bitter mockery of his last defeat, 
As Gog and Magog, leads his armies forth 410 

To compass the beloved city. Earth 
Groaned underneath the tread of armed men : 
The winds and oceans chafed to bear their fleets : 
The very sky was frighted by the rush 
Of fiendish wings. Baleful conspiracy ! 
Devils and men at last in open league 
Assuming empire with a front, to less 
Than strength Almighty, irresistible. 
Darkening all lands they come, but densest where 
Euphrates rolPd her ancient tide of wealth 420 

Through Shinar's plains : for in their pride they ween'd 
To storm the citadel of heaven and climb 
The ladder of crystalline gold there set, 
And leading higher than the stars of God. 

Ah ! blind rebellion, madness to the last, 
Infatuate, suicidal, desperate ! 

The latest band of unpolluted saints 
Was gathered now beneath the shadowing wings 



352 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

Of that Shekinah cloud which stretched its shade 

From Lebanon to Nile; and now the hosts 430 

Of Satan flocked around the holy realm 

By foot unblest as yet inviolate ; 

When from the frowning heavens again that sound, 

Which shook the first fell council of the damn'd, 

More terrible than thunder vibrated 

Through every heart, Jehovah's awful laugh, 

Mocking their fears and scorning their designs, 

The laughter of Eternal love incensed. 

From pole to pole it peal'd. And lo, the cloud, 

Whence it appeared to issue, spread abroad 440 

Over the rebel hosts its pregnant gloom, 

And, louring, in the twinkling of an eye 

Flashed into flame. The dreadful storm of fire 

Bore ever down, precipitately down, 

Scathing the spirits of evil first (of power 

These everlasting burnings to destroy 

Spiritual and carnal essences alike), 

Still down, — though not before a whisper ran 

Through those pale ranks like that which blanched the lips 

Of Pharaoh's bravest in the yawning deep, — 450 

" God fights for Zion ; let us flee His face." 

It was too late : for down, still ever down, 

The arrows of destruction fell, the flames 

Baffling escape or flight. And now the Lord 

Himself on the Arch-adversary laid 

The right hand of Omnipotence. The touch 

Alone was foretaste of the second death, 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 353 

Such death as damned spirits for ever die. 

He shuddered and was still. Nor less his hosts, 

Whelm/d by the glory y of God, and manacled 460 

Beneath angelic wardenship, were ranged 

Far to the left of the consuming fire 

Burning around the central throne, and there 

In speechless horror waited, till the Judge 

Should summon each to His eternal bar. 

But first Messiah spake again, His voice 
Resounding from the jasper walls of heaven 
To hell's profoundest caves. And lo, the Deep 
Grew darker at the summons. Hades shook 
Through all her strong foundations, as of old 470 

Sinai beneath the feet of God. Nor now 
Was key or loosened bar or facile bolt 
Needed to ope her adamantine doors ; 
For, as it seemed, the firmament, which arch'd 
That prison of the damned with lurid gloom, 
To right and left was rent : and Death and Hell 
With dreadful throes and agonizing groans 
Disgorged their dead, the lost of every age, 
In myriads, small and great confusedly. These, 
As shivering on the bare expanse they stood, 480 

Ejected prisoners but not escaped, 
The angels in dead ominous silence led 
Back to their mother earth, where waited each • 
His ruined spirit's tenement, made fit 
To' endure the terrors of the wrath to come, 

a a 



354 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

The body of his sin, and from this hour 

The body of his everlasting woe. 

Thus clothed with shame not glory, came they forth 

From graves innumerable by land and sea, 

And took their station, so the Judge ordained, 490 

Behind the accursed angels, who first sinned 

And, as was meet, must first receive their doom. 

Hades was empty. Not a sound or sigh 
Or whisper of a living thing was heard 
In the sepulchral air. That gloomy prison 
Had done its work. And suddenly, behold, 
What seemed its floor of solid adamant 
Heaved, — as in Zembla's seas at summer prime 
A mighty floe of ice disruptured heaves 
Beneath the chafing tide, and in an hour 500 

Its glens and bergs and frozen fastnesses 
Break in a thousand fragments, the vex'd waves 
Betwixt them washing to and fro. So now, 
As it appeared, the keystone of that crypt, 
Which overarched the fiery gulf below, 
Was crushed : and, like a sinking dome, the vault 
With rout insufferable and hideous noise 
Fell sheer into the bottomless pit. But huge 
As was that ruin, loomed more huge, more vast 
That shoreless fathomless abyss of fire, 5 1 

Which swallowed up in its remorseless waves 
Whatever lay beyond the mighty gulf 
Coasting the triple wall of Paradise. 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 355 

Meanwhile on earth the quick tempestuous flames, 
That overthrew the rebel armies, spread 
From fell to forest, and from clime to clime, 
From shore to shore, from island on to isle, 
And burning continent to continent ; 
While from beneath the ocean lava floods 
Surged up until the very waters rolled 520 

Aflame ; and clouds of smoke and seething steam 
Darkened the sky — a space : then I beheld, 
And lo, the firmamental heavens themselves 
Were kindled, and the primal elements 
Melted with heat, and one vast sea of fire, 
Its waves darting their hungry tongues aloof, 
Baptized the unregenerate earth in flame. 
One land alone, — like Goshen, when the shroud 
Of palpable darkness wrapt the Memphian plains, 
Sunning its pastures in the smile of God, — 530 

One land remained unscathed, and over that 
Nor firebrand shot, nor smell of burning passed. 

And there in heaven, immediately above 
The holy hills of Zion as it seemed, 
Though peradventure airy semblance veiFd 
A distance greater than the solar orb, 
When now the blasts of lightning wrath were spent, 
From out the dazzling glory 7 at last emerged 
The likeness of a great white throne, more bright 
(If time may render such similitude 540 

To mysteries not born of time) than when 
a a 2 



356 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

A vaporous sea of mist, shrouding the Alps 

From Viso to the far Tyrol, an hour 

Ere sunset, lifts its giant gloom, and melts 

In showers, save where the victor king of day 

Rides on the uppermost ravine of cloud 

And brightens it to brightness till it glows 

Whiter than light itself. And on the throne, 

When strengthened by the Spirit I looked, behold 

One seated, from whose unveiFd face the earth 550 

As mantled with its former robes, and heaven, 

Its azure curtains shrivelling like a leaf, 

Melted as melts a dream 0' the night. But lo, 

Before the throne in countless millions stood 

New risen the dead, all of them, small and great, 

Speechless with terror, by the angels soon 

Far to the left reduced : while on the right 

Advanced the saints in blissful multitudes ; 

And round about the throne were seraphim 

And cherubim of glory, and the chiefs 560 

Of the celestial host ; meanwhile the rest 

Stretched like a fringe of light beyond the saints, 

Beyond the ruined dead, beyond the spirits 

Accursed in concentric walls of flame. 

And then and there the likeness as of books 

Before the awful Presence of the Judge 

Was seen, the massive chronicles of time, 

The law, the Gospel, and the book of life. 

This the last opened was first read. And as 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 357 

The names engraven on its crystal leaves 570 

Fell singly from Messiah's lips, the saints 

From martyred Abel to the youngest babe 

Caught heavenward for the joy of His espousals 

Stood forth apparent in that holy light, 

Their blood- washed robes purer than driven snow, 

Palms in their hands, and woven in their hair 

Garlands of amaranth. And one by one 

The beams o' the Divine glory seemed to rest 

On each : and in the twinkling of an eye, 

In sight and audience of the universe, 5 so 

That one became the object, whereon all, 

Forgetful of themselves and all besides, 

Gazed. Not the faintest film of guilt remained 

Beneath the scrutiny of Perfect Love, 

Such was the virtue of His blood, and such 

The lustre of His seamless robe of light. 

But every thought, and word, and act of grace, 

Writ in the book of His remembrance, shed 

A halo of such radiant holiness 

O'er every member of the mystic Bride, 590 

That all, not saints alone but seraphim, 

With shouts of lofty joy congratulant, 

Nor seraphs only, but the lost perforce, 

Both men and devils, as the Son of God 

Proclaimed the righteousness of saints, and placed 

A crown of glory on the brow of each, 

Echoed the verdict of the Throne, Amen. 



358 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

Those numbers had no number : but ask not 
How long their judgment lasted ; for methinks 
Time and its ages then were felt to be 600 

Creatures of the Eternal, in whose Eye 
And Presence moments are as years, and years 
As moments. But to me at least it seemed 
Only the fragment of a day, before 
The latest saint received his blest award ; 
And the King stooping from the snow-white throne 
Held forth the sceptre of His grace, dove-tipped 
(As once of yore Ahasuerus calm'd 
Young Esther's beating heart), and bade us^touch 
The symbol, and draw nearer while He spake : 61 

" Come, all ye blessed of My Father, come 
Inherit ye the royalties and realms, 
Ere the foundations of the world were laid 
For you prepared and destined. Heirs of God, 
Joint heirs with Me, receive your heritage ; 
Come ye, who bore My cross, and wear My crown ; 
Come share My glories ye who shared My ^griefs ; 
But first assessors to My throne abide, 
The while I judge Mine enemies and yours." 

So saying, He drew us nearer to His side, 620 

And placed us on His glorious right. O scene 
Of solemn unimaginable awe ! 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 359 

Ere this, though nurtured in Millennial wonders, 

The saints were with themselves absorbed, nor dared 

Look otherwhere than on their peers and Judge. 

But now it seem'd we were again the Bride, 

And seated by the Bridegroom's side ; for lo, 

The likeness as of countless thrones appeared 

On that unutterably radiant cloud 

Which was Messiah's judgment-throne — nor think 630 

Boom wanting in that vast sidereal dome — 

Each in its ordered place, tier above tier, 

Bank above rank, so marvellously set, 

Or such the virtue here of sight and sound, 

We saw the shades that passed on every brow, 

We heard the whisper of the faintest sigh. 

Before us first the hosts of rebel spirits 

Under angelic wardens : next to these 

Their miserable victims, of mankind : 

And still beyond them angels numberless : 640 

Beside us, to the right hand and the left, 

The diverse glories of the stars : and far 

Below our feet our mother planet, earth, 

Glowed in the embers of her final fire, 

Except the solitary land concealed 

Beneath the shadow of the hand of God. 

And now the Anointed Judge, fronting the left, 
Summoned the apostate spirits one by one 
Before Him. Face to face with us they stood, 
Whom they had wrestled with in dubious fight 650 



360 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

And plied with hellish crafts in pilgrim days. 

Dreadful it was to see them now unmask'd, 

And, as the story of each appeared, to learn 

What poisonous arrows they had shot, what snares 

Had strew'd, what pitfalls of iniquity 

Had digged for us, albeit Heavenly Love 

Led our unwary footsteps safely home. 

Now we beheld the secret springs of ill 

Which moved the mighty drama of the world, 

And saw how often proud infatuate men, 660 

Like Ahab by the lying fiend beguiled, 

Were dupes of hell. On each the judgment fell : 

As he had sinned, so was to each the weight 

And measure of eternal punishment, 

Weighed in the scales of Perfect Equity, 

Poised to the small dust of the balances, 

And meted to a gossamer's viewless breadth ; 

And with such clear necessity adjudged 

By One, whose long forbearance had been drained 

To the last drop, by Love, Almighty Love, 670 

Uttering its slow irrevocable words 

In tones of wrath so strangely blent with grief, 

So calm, so true, so just, that even the damn'd 

Could only answer, " Thou art righteous, Lord :" 

And, as the awful sentence fell on each 

Of chains and everlasting banishment 

To his own portion in the lake of fire, 

As by the Spirit of holiness compelled 

We and the blessed angels said, Amen. 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 361 

The Arch-tempter was reserved for judgment last. 680 
Silent he stood. Upon his haggard brow 
Nor hope nor fear was visible, nor guile, 
Nor lust, nor hate : an utter blank it seem'd, 
A passionless vacuity of thought : 
But when the concentrated light of God, 
As sunbeams in a burning-glass condensed, 
Fell on his naked spirit, it touched, it woke 
The dormant sense within him ; and a moan 
Stifled was heard ; and mighty shudderings 
Shook his colossal frame : for in that light 690 

His pride was despicable littleness, 
His wisdom idiot folly, and his lies 
Rent cobwebs in the torturing glare of truth. 
And now the strong was weak, the haughty' abased, 
The rebel crouching at his Conqueror's feet, 
The shameless clothed with everlasting shame. 
Prostrate he fell before the throne ; and there, 
In sight of all, Messiah on his neck 
Planted His burning heel, and in the act 
For ever crushed the accursed Serpent's head : 700 

Life not extinct, but crush'd ; and sin not slain, 
But bruised and ready for the second death : 
I look'd again ; and lo, among his own, 
Convict and chain'd, the strengthless Arch-fiend lay. 
And for a space no sound was heard. But then 
It seem'd the crystal empyrean clave 
Beneath them, and the horrid vacuum suck'd 
The devil and his armies down (as once 



362 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

Korah and all his crew, quick as they were, 

Sank from amid the camp of Israel) 710 

To bottomless perdition. None escaped. 

And, as their cry of piercing misery 

From out that yawning gulf went up to heaven, 

Standing upon its rugged edge we gazed 

Intently' and long down after them ; and there 

They sank and sank, the forms more indistinct, 

The cries more faint, the echoes feebler, till 

The firmamental pavement closed again : 

And silence was in heaven. 

Nor longer pause, 
For now the everlasting Son of God 720 

Summoned the millions of the dead, the lost, 
Each to appear before the great white throne. 
And lo, the angels round about them urged, 
Urged and compelled obedience, or they 
Had gladlier sunk that hour to utter night. 
And all the other angels, from their charge 
Of the rebellious spirits for aye released, 
Disposed themselves around the judgment-seat 
In fashion of an emerald rainbow, built 
Of loftiest arch what time the sun is low ; 730 

Or intermingling with the saints communed 
In whispers to the rest inaudible 
Of the dread issues of this last Assize. 
Of these was Oriel. To my side he flew 
And press'd my hand for gladness at my crown. 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 363 

And, like an elder brother, by my side 

Half leaning, ever and anon he spake 

"With tears of that which passed beneath our feet. 

Yes, there was Cain the fratricide, the brand 
Of murder still upon his brow ; and they 740 

Who mocked the saintly Enoch ; and the brood 
Begotten of the fallen sons of light, 
Giants in sin as size ; and they who sank 
Blaspheming heaven around the ark they built ; 
And they who in another deluge found 
Untimely burial, Pharaoh and his chiefs ; 
The rebel sons of Reuben ; and the seer 
Who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 
The son of Bosor ; multitudes of slain 
From the polluted homes of Canaan ; 750 

And he who fell upon the bloody heights 
Of Mount Gilboa, Saul the son of Kish ; 
And crowds of miserable idolaters, 
Of whom I marked lascivious Jezebel : 
Sinners of every age and every type ; 
The proud, despiteful, fierce, implacable, 
Unthankful, and unholy, and unclean ; 
And they who lived in pleasure, dead the while ; 
Haters of God ; and whosoever loved, 
And whosoever wrought the devil's lie. 760 

Time's river in that awful retrospect 
Was flowing swiftly by ; when lo, I heard 



364 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

The traitor's name, and from among the (lead 

He staggered shuddering to the judgment bar, 

And eye to eye met Him whose sacred life 

He sold for lucre : infinite contempt 

Was branded on his brow, who knew at last 

Good were it for him had he ne'er been born. 

Nero was there ; and none appeared to shrink 

More terror-stricken from the face of God ; 770 

In vain : and many, who with lighter guilt 

Had yet imbued their hands in holy blood, 

Nor washed them in the only fount : and when 

The persecuting priests of Carthage came 

For judgment forth, my guardian touched my hand 

And pointed to a rank of glorious saints, 

Far, far aloof, and nearer to the throne, 

Where sate the beautiful Perpetua clothed 

In amaranthine bloom, though pity fill'd 

Her heart with tenderness, her eyes with tears. 7so 

Thus passed the centuries with ruin vex'd 
And visited w^th wrath : when lo, a name 
Startled me, so familiar was the sound ; 
And Oriel faintly whispered, " It is he/' 
As Theodore approach'd the throne, and stood 
Trembling at that tribunal. Not a trace 
Of pride or blasphemous despite survived 
Upon his hopeless brow, only despair, 
Who now beneath the terrors of God's Eye 
For two Millennial days and half a third 790 






XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 365 

Had Iain submiss. One hurried glance he stole 

Upon a form below us, — could it be 

His mother ? — but no breath of useless prayer 

Escaped his lips, compressed in agony ; 

Until the irrevocable sentence fell 

Upon him, and methought I caught the words, 

u O God, I bow beneath Thy rod for ever." 

And Oriel whispered in my ears, " Amen. 

Omniscient Love ordains it. All is well." 

But who of saints or angels could revive 800 

All the dread scenes of that tribunal ? Time 
In that judicial retrospect appeared 
To bare itself before eternity ; 
Though as the ages onward rolled, they each 
Yielded an ever larger harvest-field 
To the keen scythe of death. But when at last 
The period of my mortal pilgrimage 
Arrived for judgment, I beheld the forms 
Of many I had known from youth to prime, 
Sheep, wayward sheep whom I had vainly sought, sio 
Now fronting the Chief Shepherd face to face. 
And now the fold was closed : and it was mine 
To witness I had calPd in vain. O God, 
Thou know^st, Thou only, what sustained me then. 
Still the dark plots grew darker, as the end 
Drew near, and tangled labyrinths of crime 
More intricate : all were unravelPd now ; 
And deeds, scarce trusted to the subtle winds 



366 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

And whispered in the ear with bated breath, 

Were now in presence of the universe 820 

Proclaimed. Rebel ingratitude had kept 

Its worst, its blackest for the close of all : 

But when the last impenitent, who died 

With devils leagued and devilish arms in hand 

Fighting against apparent Deity, 

Had all received the terrible award 

Of Justice, and among their comrades slunk, 

Once more was silence for a space in heaven ; 

Until the Judge arising from His throne 

Bent on the countless multitudes convict 830 

His visage of eternal wrath, and spake 

In tones which more than thousand thunders shook 

The crumbling citadel of every heart, — 

" Depart from Me, ye cursed, into fire, 

Fire for the devil and his hosts prepared, 

Fire everlasting, fire unquenchable; 

Myself have said it : let it be : Amen." 

And from the upper firmament there came 

A Voice Almighty, " Let it be : Amen." 

And all the trembling angels said, " Amen." 840 

And the pale Bride repeated, " Yea, Amen." 

God spake, and it was done. Again the floor 
Of solid crystal where the damned stood 
Opened its mouth, immeasurable leagues; 
And with a cry whose piercing echoes yet 
Beat through the void of shoreless space, the lost 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. 367 

Helplessly, hopelessly, resistlessly, 

Adown the inevitable fissure sank, 

As sank before the ruin'd hosts of hell, 

Still down, still ever down, from deep to deep, 850 

Into the outer darkness, till at last 

The fiery gulf received them, and they plunged 

Beneath Gehenna's burning sulphurous waves 

In the abyss of ever-during wx>e. 

All shook except the Throne of Judgment. That, 
Built on the righteousness of God, nor shook 
Nor faintest tremour of vibration felt : 
The Hand that held the scales of destiny 
Swerved not an hair's breadth : and the Voice which 

spake 
Those utterances quail'd not, faltered not. 860 

But when the fiery gulf was shut, and all 
Looked with one instinct on the judgment-seat 
To read His countenance who sate thereon, 
He was in tears — the Judge was weeping — tears 
Of grief and pity inexpressible. 
And straightway we remembered who had wept 
Over Jerusalem, and is the same 
For ever as to-day and yesterday ; 
And in full sympathy of grief the springs 
Gush/d forth within us ; and the angels wept : 870 

Till stooping from the throne with His own hand 
He wiped the tears from every eye, and said, 
" My Father's will be done ; His will is Mine ; 



368 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

And Mine is yours : but mercy' is His delight, 
And judgment is His strange and dreadful work. 
Now it is done for ever. Come with Me, 
Ye blessed children of My Father, come ; 
And in the many mansions of His love 
Enjoy the beams of His unclouded smile." 

So saying, as once from Olivet, He rose sso 

Majestically toward the heaven of heavens 
In the serenity of perfect peace : 
And we arose with Him. 

But what of those 
Who, from the place of final judgment hurPd, 
Had each his portion in the lake of fire ? 
No Lethe rolFd its dark oblivious waves, 
As some have feigned, betwixt that world of woe 
And ours of bliss. But rather, as of old 
Foreshadowed in the prescient oracles, 
The smoke of their great torment rose to heaven 8 no 
In presence of the holy seraphim, 
And in the presence of the Lamb of God, 
For ever and for ever. At the first 
Nothing was heard ascending from the deep 
Save wailings and unutterable groans, 
Wrong from them by overmastering agony ; 
But as His Eye, who is consuming fire, 
Unintermittently abode on them, — 
Truth, cleanness, justice fastening like flame 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT?, 369 

On all that was untrue, unclean, unjust, 900 

And thus to each awarding his due meed, — 

The outbreaks of the rebel will were quelPd, 

The quick activities of sin were crushed, 

No word of wrathful blasphemy was heard, 

No violence was wrought ; but order rose 

From that profound confusion unconfused, 

Order and forced submission ; and ere long 

Swaying her sceptre through the lurid gloom, 

And curbing every utterance but truth, 

Silence assumed her adamantine throne. 910 

Now were the works of Satan brought to nought ; 
His vast conspiracy dissolved for ever ; 
Pride, the first fatal lure, abased for ever ; 
Hell's transient eminence destroyed for ever ; 
The haughtiness of man bow'd down for ever; 
The lips of idle falsehood seaPd for ever ; 
Tyrant oppression now oppressed for ever ; 
Hatred was still ; and murder was no more ; 
And lust had wrought its latest shame. The germs 
Of evil, ineradicable germs 920 

(Grace only in the day of grace has power 
To purge the ill, and recreate the good), 
Could never strike one poisonous root again 
Beneath the curse of God, nor germinate 
In that devouring atmosphere of fire : 
And, being that repressive fire was there 
For ever, Sin the vanquished monster lay 

b b 



370 THE LAST JUDGMENT. [BOOK 

For ever powerless in the jaws of Death ; 

And to our eyes, who saw the light of life 

And stood upon the shore of glory. Death 930 

Itself was swallowed up in victory. 

Well I remember, — ages then had roll'd 
Out of a measureless eternity, — 
Standing with Oriel on that outmost verge 
Of Paradise, the lowest court of heaven, 
Where once to me a bodiless spirit he spake 
Of yesterday : the morrow now long since 
Had dawned : there standing, suddenly we heard 
A voice from an unfathomable depth 
(And Oriel touched me saying, " It is the voice 940 

Of hell's dethroned monarch ") as it seem'd, 
In shame and humiliation infinite, 
Making confession to himself and God : 

" For ever lost : this is the second death : 
Meet end for me who whispered in the ear 
Of fragile man, Ye shall not surely die. 
So flattering falsehood spake to me. Man fell ; 
And falling, as I knew too well, he died. 
The Lord is righteous ; I have sinn'd and die. 
Lost, lost : nor could I crave it otherwise. 950 

What would I otherwise ? escape from chains ? 
Were not we loosed from prison, I and mine, 
And only madly heap'd upon ourselves 
Fresh torment by fresh crime ? Nay, in our death 



XI.] THE LAST JUDGMENT. '371 

Eternal Justice hath alone fulfilled 

The equal sentence of Eternal Love. 

Me miserable ! freedom were worse than bonds ; 

And life to me more terrible than death. 

Myself alone am cause of all my woe. 

Mercy constrained the stroke. Left to itself, 960 

My maniac suicidal wickedness 

Had still inflicted worse upon itself, 

And upon all beneath its cruel rule. 

Goodness has hung these chains around my limbs. 

God, I bow for ever at Thy feet, 
The only Potentate, the only Lord. 

1 see far off the glory of Thy kingdom 
Basking in peace, uninterrupted peace : 
But were I free, and were my comrades free, 

Sin mightier than myself and them would drag 970 

Our armies to perplex those fields with war. 
Only thus fettered can we safely gaze 
On that which is the only lenitive of pain, 
Virtue and goodness triumphing, and grace 
Evolving out of darkness light in heaven. 
Thus only to the prisoners of despair 
Can Mercy, which is infinite, vouchsafe 
Far glimpses of the beauty' of holiness, 
Albeit a beauty which can never clothe 
Ourselves, the heirs of everlasting wrath. pso 

Woe, woe, immedicable woe for those 
Whose hopeless ruin is their only hope, 
And hell their solitary resting-place. 
Bb 2 



372 THE LAST JUDGMENT. 

Lost, lost : our doom is irreversible : 
Power, justice, mercy, love have seal'd us here. 
Glory to God who sitteth on the throne, 
And to the Lamb for ever and for ever." 

The voice was hushed a moment : then a deep 
Low murmur, like a hoarse resounding surge, 
Rose from the universal lake of fire : 990 

No tongue was mute, no damned spirit but swelPd 
That multitudinous tide of awful praise, 
t€ Glory to God who sitteth on the throne, 
And to the Lamb for ever and for ever." 



END OF THE ELEVENTH BOOK. 



373 



BOOK XII. 

THE MANY MANSIONS. 

Yet once more, Harp of prophecy, once more 

Fondly I come soliciting thine aid ; 

By whose celestial minstrelsy inspired 

The saintly Enoch walked with God and sang 

At cloudy morning-tide of evening light. 

Thine were the strains that floated o'er the waves 

From Miriam's timbrel and from Moses' tongue ; 

And thine the suasive melodies, that made 

The royal shepherd on his lute forecast 

The golden morrow from the vex'd to-day. 10 

Nor was he in thy tuneful lore unlearn'd, 

"Who interwove the lyrics of the Bride 

And idylls of the Bridegroom. Taught by thee, 

Isaiah gazed with eagle eye athwart 

The conflicts of a thousand years thrice told ; 

And Jeremy, and rapt Ezekiel, 

And all the prophets prophesied ; and chief 

The seer who, moated by the fretting waves 

In Patmos, open'd his capacious breast 



374 THE MANY MANSIONS. [BOOK 

To the pure impulses, which only thou 20 

Canst echo from eternity to time. 

But not, as these great masters of the lyre, 

Invoke I thee : for they at God's own voice 

Came near and laid their ringers on thy chords, 

And by the Spirit empowered drew forth the tones 

Immediate from the sacred fount of song. 

And I would only sit beneath their feet, 

And earnest catch the echo of their strain, 

And with faint imitative notes attempt 

To win the pilgrim's ear, who listening me 30 

Haply may ask whence I such music drew, 

And so become a votary of thine, 

As I am. From a boy I loved to sit 

The while thy numbers thrilPd my soul, and since 

Life with its ruder noises and rough cares 

Has somewhat dull'd mine ear, thine, prescient harp^ 

Thine oftentimes has been the only spell 

Of virtue to arouse my laggard spirit. 

And now once more in this my last assay, 

Only this once, I ask thy heavenly aid 40 

(My task is almost done, a task, and yet, 

When thou hast breathed, a sweet necessity), 

That I may catch, if few and far away, 

Some glimpses of the infinite To be. 

The judgment had an end. The great white throne 
Was hidden in excess of light. And lo, 
The earth, emerging from her flood of fire 



XII.] THE MANY MANSIONS. 375 

Baptismal, by a new and heavenly birth 

Arose regenerate. The dews of God, 

As once in Eden, cool'd the ardent soil ; 50 

And rivers from innumerable springs 

Flowed intersecting every gorgeous clime 

With living waters. Like a smile of light 

The Sun of Righteousness in rising shed 

Healing from His benignant wings ; and earth, 

Who came forth naked from her bath of flame, 

Felt His rich blessing at her heart, and smiled 

Responsive, and in blushing haste put on 

Her beautiful robes of immortality. 

Her late apparel was not found. But now 60 

The azure hyaline, in which she moved, 

Was not more pure than was her virgin dress. 

No trace of her great sufferings remained ; 

No wrecks of time were strewn upon her shores ; 

No monuments of ruin ; — saving one : — 

Where Satan with his rebel peers had erst 

Built on the mystic Babylon his throne, 

There rose a solitary mountain peak, 

The one volcano of that new-born world, 

Thrust from beneath by struggling fires, and thence 70 

Ever by day and night, world without end, 

A thin white wreath of smoke went up to heaven, 

And quickly melted in the golden beams 

Which ever from the height of Zion flowed : 

Symbol of deeper things. The sea was not : 

Its salt and barren waters were consumed 



376 THE .MANY MANSIONS. [BOOK 

In that last fire ; and all its fruitless wastes, 

Once fruitless, now with profuse verdure clad, 

In undulating hills and valleys, bared 

I n trodden landscapes to the light. Nor deem so 

Because the ocean was no more, earth lacked 

Her noblest type of the profound and free, 

Nor heaven its mirror. For the streams of life, 

Flowing incessant, stored their crystal wealth 

In countless pools and lakes and inland seas, 

Wherewith the sportive breezes wantoning 

Drave billows crested with their diamond foam 

On emerald shores, or in whose lucid calm 

The stars slept imaged. Earth from pole to pole 

TTas one illimitable Paradise ; 90 

Albeit Emmanuers land was as that spot 

In Eden, where the blossoming tree of life 

Grew with the tree of knowledge intertwined, 

The presence-chamber of the King of kings, 

The temple of the world. And thence the saints 

(As sometime from Armenian Ararat, 

The sons of Noah) spread o'er every clime, 

Good without fear of evil beckoning them, 

Life without fear of death embracing them, 

All pleasure without pain refreshing them, 100 

All sunshine without sorrow in their hearts, 

All music without discord in their homes. 

So they on earth : but where were we the while ? 
When from the judgment-throne Messiah rosi 



XII. J THE MANY MANSIONS. 377 

To glory , we arose with Him ; the heavens 

Pealing their jubilant welcomes as we passed ; 

And all the armies of the sons of God 

Clapping their wings of fire before the Bride, 

And shouting for the Bridegroom's voice, with sound 

Of trumpets and melodious harps ; until 110 

The everlasting arches rang again, 

And that Light-sea which floods the universe 

Trembled with its impulsive waves for joy, 

And Heaven in ecstasy of rapture ask'd, 

What were those echoes of triumphant mirth 

That thrilPd creation from the central throne 

To its remotest bound. So passed we on, 

Until the ramparts of the heaven of heavens 

Stretched like a wall of fire along the expanse, 

And those great portals carved of solid pearl 120 

(Through which had flown no wing unhallowed, since 

The Son of God ascending cleansed with blood 

And sealed the Holiest) now wide open thrown, 

Nor henceforth closed, for foes were now no more, 

With songs received our singing multitudes ; 

And through the provinces of bliss we swept 

On towards the city of the living God. 

Before us now it rose, builded aloft 
Upon the heavenly Zion. Never eye 
Of mortal man had seen, nor ear had heard, 130 

Though ravished with the distant fame thereof, 
Glory like this; the handiwork of God, 



378 THE MANY MANSIONS. [BOOK 

And fashioned of heaven's choice material, light, 

Through which the Light of Light translucent shone ; 

The mansion of Creation's Architect ; 

The palace of the Everlasting King : 

Its gates of pearl, its edifice of gold ; 

Its very streets of pure crystalline gold ; 

Its walls on twelve foundations superposed 

(Of which divine realities the earth ho 

Can only lend its feeble semblances), 

The jasper streak'd with many a tender dye, 

The sapphire of celestial blue serene, 

The agate once Chalcedon's peerless boast, 

The fathomless repose of emerald, 

The ruby, and blood-tinctured sardonyx, 

The chrysolite like amber sheathing fire, 

The beryl emulous of ocean's sheen, 

The opal-tinted topaz clear as glass, 

The soft pale purple of the chrysoprase, 150 

The Melibcean hyacinth, and last 

The lucid violet of amethyst. 

But not of pearly gates, or golden streets, 

Or bulwarks, or foundations built of jewels 

Thought we that day, or lingered to admire ; 

For we were on our way to meet our God. 

The city had no temple ; for itself 
From wall to wall, from base to pinnacle, 
Was one harmonious veilless sanctuary, 
One Holiest of all : of which the shrine 1 60 



XII.] THE MANY MANSIONS. 379 

Revealed amid the clouds of Sinai 

Yielded the earliest pattern, This the house 

Which Israel's royal seer in symbol saw, 

And by the Spirit's hand on his described. 

This the beloved apostle, rapt in spirit 

To some high watch among the lasting hills, 

Beheld. Most blessed, beatific sight ! 

Here veiled in radiant clouds, clouds only called 

From the supreme of brightness they enfolded, 

Was set the throne of Majesty in heaven. 170 

In front seven ever-burning lamps of fire, 

Which are the Spirits of God : and round about 

Mysterious cherubim, instinct with eyes, 

Fourfold in glory, symbolized in forms 

Of lion-like imperial royalty, 

Of patient sacrificial ministry, 

Of human, more than human sympathy, 

Of soaring eagle-plumed intelligence, 

Most highest of all creatures, whereof each 

Caught and reflected some peculiar rays, 180 

Some distinct aspect of his Lord ; but all 

Uniting in one everlasting song, 

Cried, " Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of hosts/' 

And here around were four-and-twenty thrones 

In wider circuit, like a starry belt, 

And on them four-and-twenty hierarchs 

In priestly'' apparel, but with kingly crowns, 

Sitting sublime. And in mid view, behold, 

What seemed the likeness of a sea of glass. 



380 THE MANY MANSIONS. [BOOK 

But not on glassy sea, or royal priests, 190 

Or cherubim of glory gazed we then ; 
For we were on our way to meet our God, 
Children about to see their Father's face. 

Parent and child, O purest fount that flows ! 
Earth, fallen earth, had known thy heavenly spell : 
In whose deep waters selfishness dissolved 
And was not, like the sicknesses that fled 
At touch of angel-moved Bethesda's pool, 
Though tinctured then by many a noxious plant 
That grew upon its trampled marge, of power 200 

To dim but not destroy its healing life. 
A babe upon its mother's breast, a child 
Locked in a father's arms — oh, things that are ! 
Love coming forth of love and meeting love ; 
Love resting in its love and satisfied. 
And knew the earth such mysteries ? what now 
When through the temple courts fragrant with praise 
The Bridegroom led His own, His only Bride, 
Into His Father's presence, His and ours ? 
Were they the parted wings of cherubim, 210 

Or opening clouds of glory which disclosed 
Such lineaments of love unutterable, 
Attemper'd as the spirit of each could bear ? 
No pain, no shrinking from excessive bright, 
No sense of discord, no tormenting fear 
(For filial love had cast out servile fear), 
The Spirit's grace within us meeting grace 



XII.] THE MANY MANSIONS. 38] 

Unfathomable, and we His holy ones 
Drinking our fill of perfect holiness. 
Yet seem'd it every thought in one was lost, — 220 

Whether the words were audible to those 
Who stood around in endless ranks of light 
I know not, but they echoed in my heart, — 
It was my Father's voice saying, " My child :" 
And every power within me vibrated 
To those divinest words, — whether I spoke, 
Or whether others spoke, I never knew, — 
" My Father, O my Father ! " Beams of love, 
The repercussion of His beams of love, 
FilPd every chamber of my soul with light, 230 

As in pure waves face answers back to face ; 
Nor though eternity unfold the powers 
Of knowledge, — and to know Him is to love, — 
Can beatific blessedness transcend 
The rapture of that welcome, that response, 
" My child .... My Father/' Heaven has nothing 
higher. 

The angels gazed in silent ecstasy : 
For now it seem'd as if Jehovah turned 
The glory of His countenance full-orVd 
Upon the Son ; that glory, which on us 240 

Shone only as each child could bear its light, 
Resting upon the Everlasting Son 
In all unveird effulgence : not one beam 
Of its unmitigated splendour lost, 



382 THE MANY MANSION*. [BOOK 

But from His face reflected, beam for beam, 

In the One Spirit's communion infinite, 

Uninterrupted fellowship. And then 

(Alas ! the feebleness of words to tell 

Those wonders passing wonder) but it seem'd 

The Eternal Father slowly rising placed 250 

A crown, which in itself was many crowns, 

Upon the head of the Eternal Son : 

And from amidst the throne a Voice was heard 

Commanding Hallelujah. And forthwith 

From cherubim and burning seraphim, 

And from the hierarchal presbytery, 

And from the Bride low at her Bridegroom's feet, 

And from the principalities and powers, 

And hosts of angels ranked in endless files, 

As sounds the roar of mighty multitudes, 260 

Or rush of many waters in still night, 

Or thunders echoing from hill to cloud, 

Arose that pealing coronation hymn — 

" Crown Him for ever, crown Him King of kings ; 

Crown Him for ever, crown Him Lord of lords ; 

Crown Him the glorious Conqueror of hell ; 

Crown Him the Everlasting Prince of Peace ; 

Crown Him Jehovah, Jesu, Lamb of God, 

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen/' 

But, ere the sound of their great anthem sank, 270 

In waves of rapture on the walls of heaven, 

The Son Himself appeared on bended knee 

Stooping before His Father's throne to kneel, 



XII.] THE MANY MANSIONS. 383 

And place that diadem of many crowns 

Upon that radiant footstool, then and there 

Presenting us and all the ransomed Church, 

Yea and Himself as Man, to God submiss, 

Filial obedience as conspicuous now 

As had been filial power, His Father's gift. 

This adoration paid as man, as God 280 

He at His Father's bidding re-assumed 

His session on the throne of Majesty, 

Radiance with radiance interfused, great depths 

Of light, known only to the Spirit of light. 

And as in silent awe we knelt and gazed, 

And gazing worshipped, we beheld no more 

The glory of the Father, Son, and Spirit, 

Each by itself distinct, but all Triune, 

The Trinity in Unity expressed, 

One Uncreated, One Almighty, One 290 

Eternal, One Incomprehensible, 

One Lord, One God. And God was all in all. 

Time measured not such raptures. But at last 
It seem'd as rising from the sapphire throne 
Messiah led us forth at large to view 
The city' Himself had builded and prepared 
After His Father's counsel for His Bride, 
A city, or a temple, or a home, 
Or rather all in one. Enrich' d it was 
With every exquisite design of love, 300 

And every form of beaut v. Not a film 



384 THE MANY MANSIONS. [BOOK 

Stained its bright pavement of transparent gold ; 

Not a harsh murmur vex'd its silences, 

Or with the melodies of angels jarred. 

No cloud darkened its empyrean. Joy 

Held court here in its own metropolis. 

And through the midst the crystal river flowM 

Exhaustless from the everlasting throne, 

Shaded on either side by trees of life 

Which yielded in unwearying interchange 310 

Their ripe vicissitude of monthly fruits 

Amid their clustering leaves medicinal ; 

Of fruits twelve manner ; for eternity, 

Measured by ages limitless to man, 

Has intervals and periods of bliss 

And high recurring festivals that stand 

On the sidereal calends marked in light. 

Through these celestial groves the Lamb of God 

Led us delighted. Every sight and sound 

Ravished the sense : and every loving heart 320 

Reflected joy to joy and light to light, 

Like crystals in a cave flashing with fire, 

And multiplied our bliss a million-fold. 

O blessed royal priesthood ! priests and kings 

Under the Great High Priest and Prince of Peace, 

Who now in tender grace assigned to each 

His priestly' abode within the House of God 

(So Solomon around his temple built 

The chambers for its stated ministries) 

Where each might be alone with God, or mix 330 



XII.] THE MANY MANSIONS. 385 

In converse with his fellow-saints at will, 

Adorn'd with those peculiar gifts He knew, 

Who knows us better than we know ourselves, 

Would gratify those tastes and feelings most 

Himself had planted : delicate delights ; 

If little, loving from their littleness, 

Which nought but Love could ever have devised ; 

If rich and large, more precious from the love 

That gave than from excellence or cost ; 

The bounties of a Father's thoughtfulness, 340 

The tokens of the Bridegroom's tenderness, 

Gifts of the Spirit and with His love instinct. 



Oft in my mansion would some elder saint 
(For dignity was there humility) 
Linger and tell his story, or ask mine : 
Or I would listen from an infant's lip 
A tale of such delightsomeness as pour'd 
New meaning into words henceforth. And oft 
A group of the beatified, enlink'd 

In all the bonds of holy lineage, 350 

Would cluster underneath the trees of life, 
One eye kindling another, one deep thought 
Waking another thought, and this another, 
Until all bosoms overflowed with love, 
And all perforce would hasten to the throne, 
And at their Father's footstool pour their hearts 
In one full tide of common rapture forth. 

c c 



386 THE MANY MANSIONS. [BOOK 

Sweet was the intercourse of saint with saint ; 
Nor less of saints with angels. Now appeared 
The lustrous promise, which ordained at first 360 

That in Messiah's Bridal angelhood 
Should find its perfected felicity : 
Whether rejoicing in the Bridegroom's joy ; 
Or drinking in the beauty of the Bride ; 
Or w4th some ward, as Oriel oft with me, 
Retracing in astonished retrospect, 
How good from evil, light from darkness sprang 
By counsel of All-wise Almighty love. 

Nor w r anted heaven its hours of such repose 
As added zest to ministry, or walks 370 

Of patient meditative solitude, 

Thought following thought through links of argument, 
The heart retiring in itself to muse 
On God, His works and ways. Much as we knew, 
Infinite marvels w^ere unknown. As one 
Who climbing some far height at break of day 
Among the Alps or lonely Apennines 
Sees ever at his feet new landscapes spread, 
New vales, new glittering lakes, new summits piercing 
The roseate sky with pinnacles of snow, 3^o 

The air still purer crystal, and the arc 
Of fresh horizons widening every step, 
Yet at the highest touches not the fringe 
Of heaven's blue curtains, and when seeing most 
Sees but a narrow fragment of God's world : 



XII.] THE MANY MANSIONS. 3S7 

So ever learning more we never stood 

Nearer the limits of His love, whose name 

Is always through all ages Wonderful, 

And, as it has been, shall be : things reveal'd 

Only discovering more beyond our ken : 390 

There, as on earth, experience working hope, 

Celestial hope who knows no blush of shame, 

The child of patience. Hence they err'd, who taught 

That in His presence faith and hope are lost 

Who is the God of patience and of hope. 

Things once invisible were visible ; 

Things hoped for present : but beyond them all 

Illimitable fields untravell'd lay ; 

And over these faith saw God's rainbow cast, 

And young-eyed hope winged many an airy flight. 400 

With these dwelt love, by men caird charity, 

And of the peerless sisterhood herself 

Was chief; her sweet pre-eminence then seen, 

When unawares, as oft, the Prince Himself 

Gladdening our lonely meditation came, 

And from things past would teach us things to be, 

Till in the sunshine of His smile we saw 

Darkly no more, no longer in a glass, 

But gazing face to face, and eye to eye, 

Knew the Beloved as ourselves were known. 410 

By such delicious solitude refreshed, 
Not loth we sought society again ; 
For here we never from His Presence went 
c c 2 



388 THE MANY MANSIONS. [BOOK 

Who is the glory* of heaven's light : but chief 

What time the trump of God, by Michael blown. 

Summoned our glad rejoicing multitudes 

To holy convocation. And had hearts 

Of weary pilgrims in the wilderness 

Oft fainted for His courts of prayer, and found 

His earthly tabernacles amiable, 420 

Uttering their wants in broken sobs and sighs, 

And listening the story of His love 

From tremulous lips ? Had many a spot appeared, 

Where two or three thus gathered in His Name, 

The house of God and very gate of heaven ? 

O far exceeding weight of glory, when 

Angels and saints, commingling hosts of light, 

No laggard heart, no voice unmatched or mute, 

We knelt before our Father's visible throne, 

And saw the Sevenfold Spirit as lamps of fire, 430 

And read our names upon Messiah's breast, 

And heard the music of His robe (the while 

He passed the crystal sea bearing aloft 

The incense of His meritorious love), 

And saw Him touch the golden mercy-seat, 

And worshipped, as the Oracle of God 

Came, from amid Cherubic wings, proclaiming, 

" This is My Son Beloved ; hear ye Him/' 

And when the Prince, the Prophet of His Church, 

Spake of His Father in our ears, and showed 440 

The unfathomable glories of His Name, 

Until the love which dwelt in the Triune 



XII.] THE MANY MANSIONS. 389 

Dwelt in our hearts, — Emmanuel, God with us \ — 

And oftentimes, Chief Minstrel as Chief Priest, 

While every heart was vibrating' with love, 

Himself sang Hallelujah, to the sound 

Of thousand times ten thousand angel harps 

Which instantly in perfect unison 

Rolled from the golden floor their weaves of joy 

Against the empyrean's crystal roof; 450 

Then who could choose but swell the mighty tide 

Of music with concerting harp and voice, 

Until the courts of Zion were fulfilled 

With fragrance of delight and songs of praise ? 

From such a Sabbath festival it was 
(After what blissful ages know I not), 
Messiah from the Bridal City led 
Down through the starry firmament His Bride, 
Not unaccompanied with angel choirs 
And gorgeous trains of seraphim and thrones, 460 

Towards her native earth. Flushes of joy 
Suffused her cheek with gladness. To compare 
Celestial and terrestrial things, as when 
The consort of some mighty Emperor, 
Raised by his sovereign will to share his throne, 
After long years revisits with her lord 
The sweet home of her childhood, and with all 
A child's first ecstasy and bloom of joy 
Wanders from room to room, and walk to walk, 
And each dear spot indelibly engraved 470 



390 THE MANY MANSIONS. [BOOK 

On memory's tablet, saying, " Here it was 

My father taught me first to lisp his name : 

Here first my mother clasp'd my hands in prayer ; 

This was my favourite knoll ; and in this glen, 

Well I remember, thou didst speak to me 

That summer evening what was in thy mind, 

And win this timid heart, — O foolish heart ! 

Fearing to trust its happiness with thee, 

My lord, and better than my lord, my love/' 

Not otherwise, nor less delightful seem'd 480 

To us returning from the heaven of heavens 

Our birthplace earth. And easily we found 

Each haunt to memory dear of pilgrim days, 

Each hill and valley ; for the flood of fire 

Which wrapt the earth in its baptismal robe, 

Had purged, not changed its lineaments : as once 

The deluge of great waters overwhelmed 

All life, except the cradled Church, but left 

Creation's landmarks and the river beds 

Coasting the land of Shinar undisturb'd. 490 

The wastes of ocean only were no more, 

Nor wastes of sand, nor aught of barrenness ; 

And yet the earth through all her vast expanse 

Of golden plains and rich umbrageous hills 

Already seem'd too narrow for the growth 

Of her great human family : so quick 

The virtue of her Maker's law, when once 

Sin's crushing interdict was disannull'd, 

Thai primal law, " Be fruitful j multiply 



XII.] THE MANY MANSIONS. 391 

Your joys ; replenish and subdue the earth." 500 

Blest mandate ! blest obedience ! Earth was full 

Of goodness, full of glory, full of grace : 

A perfect image of high heaven : the globe 

One temple, all mankind for worshippers, 

Israel for priests : and now the prayer we used 

To pray, " Our Father, HallowM be Thy Name; 

Thy kingdom come ; Thy will be done in earth, 

As by Thy angel ministries in heaven/'' 

Was turned into a thousand forms of praise, 

And sung from hill to hill, from clime to clime, 5io 

Innumerable infant choristers 

Swelling the deeper tones of youth and age> 

In holy matins and in vesper hymns. 

Great thoughts were stirring in the hearts of men, 
And hopes too big for utterance : yet were none 
Who deemed their present rapture capable 
Of such enlargement as was theirs, when now 
Messiah, who had heretofore reveaFd 
His Presence in Jerusalem alone, 

Came with His Virgin Bride and angel choirs, 520 

And tabernacled upon earth again, 
And visited not only His own land, 
But every country, every home, and left 
Some token of His love in every heart, 
The Son of Man among the sons of men. 
Not least their rapture when as He was wont 
He touched their eyes with heavenly balm ; and lo, 



392 THE MANY MANSIONS. [BOOK 

They saw in heaven the city of His Bride, 

Its gates of pearl, its streets of limpid gold, 

Its walls on bright foundations built, and walks 530 

By crystal streams shaded by trees of life. 

Nor, if the rebel Regent of the air 

Once had such power to represent the world 

Comprised as in a moment to His eye, 

Marvel that He the rightful Prince had power 

To show His children that Jerusalem 

Of glory, which is mother of us all, 

Descending out of heaven from God it seemed, 

Though distant far. And, while He showed it them, 

He told them of its undeclining light, 540 

And blessed vision of His Father's face, 

And royalty of service, promising, 

Their earthly ministry approved, to' enrol 

Their names among the citizens of heaven 

And freemen of His sinless universe. 

Haply such perfectness of earthly bliss 

And such far vistas of celestial light 

Had overcharged their hearts. But not in vain 

The awful chronicles of time. And oft, 

When dazzled with the glory and the glow 550 

That streamed from Zion's everlasting hills, 

Messiah or His ministers would tell 

Rapt auditors how Satan fell from bliss, 

The story of a riuVd Paradise, 

The foughten fight, the victory achieved, 

But only with the endless banishment 



XII.] THE MANY MANSIONS. 303 

Of damned spirits innumerable and men 

From heaven and heavenly favour which is life. 

Nor seldom He, who strengthened human sight, 

As with angelic telescope, to read 5 60 

The wonders of the highest firmament, 

Would bid them gaze into the awful Deep 

Couching beneath ; and there they saw the lost 

For ever bound under His dreadful Eye 

Who is eternal and consuming fire, 

There in the outer darkness. And the view 

So wrought in them, that perfect self-distrust, 

With pity not unmixed and tender tears, 

Leaned ever on their God for perfect strength. 

That which men witnessed of the danm'd in hell, 570 
By unction of the Spirit at God's command, 
Was in our gaze at will, whene'er the smoke 
In mighty volumes rising from the Deep, 
Blown devious by God's breath athwart the void, 
Dispersed. Nor turn'd we always from the sight, 
Although it touch'd the inmost springs of grief, 
And stirr'd our bosoms from their depths. Hell was : 
The fact, and not our vision of the fact, 
Was their unending anguish and our grief, 
A grief which chasten'd but not jarr'd our bliss. 580 

Should not the children share their Father's thoughts ? 
Should not the Wife her Husband's counsels learn ? 
Learn ever more and more ? Let it suffice 
That in the depth, as in the height above, 



394 THE MANY MANSIONS. [BOOK 

God was Supreme; His righteousness confessed 

In dread Gehenna as His love in heaven j 

Absolute order reigning* ; of the lost 

Some scourged with many stripes, with fewer some, 

All underneath the footstool of His throne 

Subdued, submiss. This we beheld and knew. 590 

And in the cloudless joys of heaven and earth 

Haply this sight and knowledge were to us 

The needful undertones of sympathy 

With Him, who was in days of mortal flesh 

A man of sorrows conversant with griefs, 

The necessary fountain-spring of tears, 

The sign and sacrament of pride abased 

And creature humiliation without end. 

Cloudless indeed our joys in earth and heaven, 
Ceaseless our ministry, and limitless 600 

The increase of that government and peace, 
Messiah's heritage and ours. For as 
Our native orb ere long too strait became 
For its blest habitants, not only some 
Translated without death, for death was not, 
As Enoch, joined the glorified in light ; 
But at the voice of God the stars, which rolPd 
Innumerous in the azure firmament 
By thousands and ten thousands, as He spake 
Six words of power, the seventh, it was done, 610 

Were mantled and prepared as seats of life : 
And it was ours to bear from earth and plant. 



XII.] THE MANY MANSIONS. 896 

Like Adam, in some paradise of fruits 

The ancestors of many a new-born world ; 

Like Adam, but far different issue now, 

Sin and the curse and death for ever crushed. 

And thus from planet on to planet spread 

The living light. As when a white-robed priest 

Himself, surrounded by his acolytes, 

In some vast minster, from the altar fire 620 

Lighting his torch, walks through the slumberous aisles, 

And kindles one by one the brazen lamps 

That on the fluted columns cast their shade 

Or from the frescoed ceiling hang suspense, 

Until the startled sanctuary is bathed 

In glory, and the evening chant of praise 

Floats in the radiance : so it was in heaven : 

God's temple, the expectant firmament, 

Hung with its lamps, innumerable stars ; 

The Priest, Messiah ; earth, the altar flame ; 630 

Angels and saints, the winged messengers ; 

And that great choral eucharist the hymn 

Of all creation's everlasting praise. 

Such are the many kingdoms of God's realm ; 
And in these boundless provinces of light 
We who once suffered with a suffering Lord 
Reign with Him in His glory, unto each 
According to his power and proven love 
His rule assigned. But Zion is our home ; 
Jerusalem, the city of our God. 640 



396 THE MANY MANSIONS. 

O happy home ! O happy children here ! 

O blissful mansions of our Father's house ! 

O walks surpassing Eden for delight ! 

Here are the harvests reaped once sown in tears : 

Here is the rest by ministry enhanced : 

Here is the banquet of the wine of heaven. 

Riches of glory incorruptible, 

Crowns, amaranthine crowns of victory, 

The voice of harpers harping on their harps, 

The anthems of the holy cherubim, 650 

The crystal river of the Spirit's joy, 

The Bridal palace of the Prince of Peace, 

The Holiest of Holies — God is here. 



THE END. 



NOTES. 



BOOK I. 



THE SEEES DEATH. 



St. Paul's adoption of the word prophet to describe the Cretan 
bard Epimenides (Titus i. 12) appears to justify the use of seer 
in an equivalent sense. Compare 1 Sam. ix. 9. 

Line 1. The last day of my earthly pilgrimage. 
From Homer downward, it has been usual for those who would 
picture the unseen world to imagine the descent of a living man 
to Hades. This, so far as we know, has never happened, and 
cannot happen. And it seemed to me more natural to make the 
attempt at least of conceiving that which is taking place almost 
every breath we draw, I mean the passage of a disembodied spirit 
to the world of spirits. 

Line 25. I was scarcely more, &c. 
See Dante, Inferno, Canto 1, line 1. 

Line 78. Its true gauge. 
" In His unerring sight who measures life by love." Keble. 
Line 321. Of him who calVd his son " a stranger here" 
Compare Exod. ii. 22 with Ps. xc. 1. 

Lines 327—334. 
See John xiv. — xvii. 

Lines 335—346. 
See 1 Cor. xv. 20—57. 



398 NOTES. [book 

Line 350. The vision, &c. 
Rev. xxi. 2 — xxii. 5. 

Line 392. A Presence. 
See Isa. xliii. 2. 

Line 406. They err who tell us, that the spirit unclothed, &c. 

The historic narratives of Samuel's disembodied spirit appearing 
and speaking to Saul (1 Sam. xxviii. 14), and of Moses, whose 
body was buried by G-od (Deut. xxxiv. 6), being seen by the three 
Apostles, and discoursing with our Lord on the Mount of Trans- 
figuration (Luke ix. 31), may confirm the statements here made. 

Line 438. Saintly apparel. 
See 1 Sam. xxviii. 14. Rev. vi. 11. 

Line 446. All ear, all eye, all feeling, and all heart. 
See Paradise Lost, Book vi., line 350. 

Line 499. TJie angelical convoy. 
Luke xvi. 22. 

Line 505. Ere ice set forth, rise brother, and look round, Sec. 

The numerous and well- authenticated appearances of the human 
spirit, within a few hours of death, seem to indicate that God does 
sometimes permit such a lingering on earth as is here described, 
ere the soul enters the unseen world. 

Line 518. Tliere were more spirits than men, <fcc. 
Compare the following Scriptures : " The angel of the Lord 
encampeth round about them that fear Him" (Ps. xxxiv. 7). " The 
mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about 
Elisha" (2 Kings vi. 17). "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent 
forth to minister to them that shall be heirs of salvation?" (Heb. i. 
14.) " We wrestle against principalities, against powers, against 
the rulers (tovs Koa-yLOKpa.ro pas) of the darkness of this world, 
against spiritual wickedness in high places (to, TrvcvfiariKa ttjs 
Trovripias ev rots inovpaviois, 'the spiritual hosts of wickedness in 
the heavenly regions.' Ellicott)" (Eph. vi. 12). Also 1 Cor. it. V. 
2 Cor. ii. 11. 1 Thess. ii. 18. 

Line 533. The fallen wore, &c. 
"Satan himself also is transformed into an angel of light." 
2 Cor. xii. 14. 



I.] NOTES. 399 

Lines 559 — 567. 
Compare 2 Tim. ii. 26. 

Line 571. An angel stooped, &c. 
See Ps. xci. 11. 

Line 625. Distemper d phantasies, or spirits unblest. 
One or other of these disastrous alternatives must, I fear, explain 
the reputed wonders of spiritualism, wherever they are not wilful 
impostures. 

Line 671. The road to Paradise a long descent. 

The almost uniform testimony of Scripture points to Hades as 
a region helow. The dying are spoken of as " going down to the 
pit," or " going down into silence." Samuel's spirit said to Saul, 
" Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up ? " (1 Sam. xxviii. 
15.) So we read " David is not yet ascended into the heavens " 
(Acts ii. 34). Our Lord says of Himself, " The Son of Man shall 
he three days and three nights in the heart of the earth " (Matt. 
xii. 40). And St. Paul writes of Him, " He descended first into 
the lower parts of the earth " (Eph. iv. 9). 

From these and similar Scriptures, some have thought that the 
Paradise of the Blessed Dead, as well as the Prison of the Lost, was 
actually situate within the crust of our terrestrial globe. But this 
Divine language may only be an accommodation to our earthly 
thoughts of height and depth. And there is one deeply interesting 
passage of Holy Writ, which appears to indicate that the Hades to 
which our Lord's disembodied human spirit went betwixt His death 
and resurrection is as much to be regarded below our earth, as the 
heavens of glory to which He ascended from Olivet are to be re- 
garded above it. I refer to 1 Pet. iii. 18 — 22. As the local struc- 
ture of my poem in some measure depends upon it, I may be per- 
mitted to make an extract from my Commentary on the New 
Testament — " Because even Christ suffered once on account of sins 
(rrepl afiapTicov — i. e. an atoning sacrifice for sins, the usual name 
for the sin-offerings in the LXX version being ra irepl ajiapTicov), 
the just on behalf of the unjust — a Sinless Victim in the stead of 
sinful mankind — having been put to death in (His human) fesh, but 
quickened in spirit (Ttvzvp.ari, omit tw with best MSS.) — i. e. His 
disembodied human spirit — in which (human spirit) also He went a 
journey (iropzvOeis, compare nopevOels els ovpavov, ver. 22) and. 



400 NOTES. [book 

preached (eKijpvtjev, as a herald proclaiming tidings) to the spirits in 
prison (fyvkaKfj, compare Job xiv. 13 ; eV ddrj p.e €(f)v\a£as, LXX), 
which (spirits) were sometime disobedient — refusing to repent 
before the door of the ark was shut — when the long-suffering of God 
was wailing (dnegedexero, so the best MSS.) in the days of Is o ah, 
while the ark teas a preparing, w her einto (els rju) entering— few 
persons, that is eight souls, tcere saved (bieo-doBricrav, ' thoroughly 
saved/ perhaps implying both in body and soul) by means of 
water — for the water which buried the rest of the world upbore the 
ark of their salvation. 

" That the time here spoken of is the interval betwixt the death 
and resurrection of our Lord, during which His human spirit was 
separated from His human flesh, appears from the emphatic contrast 
of His death with respect to one, and His life in the other (OavarwOcls 
}i€v crapKL, (cooiTOLTjSels de Trvevp.aTi). Compare Rom. i. 3, 4, and 
1 Tim. iii. 16. That an actual journey from place to place is 
described (ver. 19) is evident from the use of the same word 
(nopevBeis, 'having travelled') there, and in ver. 22, where it must 
signify a local transition from earth to heaven. The comparison of 
one verse with another precludes any metaphorical adaptation of 
the term 'journeyed/ That this mission of Christ to the souls in 
Hades is nowhere else recorded by the Holy Spirit will never 
stagger those who believe that every word of God is true. That by 
the phrase ' He preached' (eKrjpvi-cv) is intimated the announce- 
ment of the work of redemption, is almost certain from other 
passages where it thus stands by itself, and from a comparison 
of the answering term (ev^yyeklo-Br), ch. iv. 6). That the day 
of grace, the time of salvation, is every where in Holy Scripture 
limited to the brief space of life is true ; but this hinders not such a 
proclamation of mercy to those who, after the door of temporal 
safety was shut, may have truly repented of their guilt, and found 
forgiveness with God before they were overwhelmed with the rising 
waters. That the destruction of the body is not inconsistent with 
the salvation of the soul, in the case of repenting sinners, we know 
from other instances of Divine compassion. And, finally, that the 
descent of Christ to Hades, a fact which, like His death, stands 
alone and admits not of repetition, should be illustrated with signal 
acts of royal clemency is only in accordance with those miracles of 
mercy which ever attended His steps, 

" For further notes upon this difficult, but most interesting, portion 






IT.] NOTES. 401 

of Holy Writ, I must refer the reader to Wordsworth's cautious and 
reverent exposition — an exposition entirely in harmony with the 
third article of the Church of England as first published, viz., ' That 
the body of Christ lay in the grave till His resurrection, but His 
spirit which He gave up was with the spirits which are detained in 
prison, or in hell, and preached to them, as the place in St. Peter 
testifieth.' These words were afterwards omitted, but our Church 
sufficiently indicates her interpretation of this Scripture by appoint- 
ing it to be read as the epistle on Easter Even." 

From this it appears that the Divine Spirit describes our Lord's 
descent to Hades by the same word (nopevBcis) which relates His 
ascent to heaven. In both cases He went a journey, first descending, 
afterwards ascending. And as in the latter case our thoughts 
travel upwards with Him who passed through the heavens (SiekrjXv - 
Got a tovs ovpavovs, Heb. iv. 14) to the throne of glory, so in the 
former they travel downwards with Him to the Deep into which 
He descended for our sakes. 

Line 676. Oriel, i. e. " Light or flame of God." 
The Hebrew word might be indifferently rendered Uriel or Ooriel : 
but I have selected this modification, the name " Uriel" having 
been traditionally appropriated to one of the seven chief angels ; 
which tradition I observe, Book iv., line 192. 

Line 787. One tcorld, but widely sunder d by a gulf. 
Compare Luke xvi. 22, 23. 



BOOK II. 



Line 23. Back with melodious noise they softly fleio. 
See Paradise Lost, Book vii., line 207. 

Line 149. Without Him heaven were but a desert ruole. 
See Keble's Christian Year, Fourth Sun. after Easter, line 9. 

Line 166. His brightness shone, &c. 
Dan. viii. 15 — 18, and x. o — 17. 

Dd 



402 NOTES. [book 

Line 169. TJie Apocalyptic seer. 
Rev. i. 17. 

Lines 181—188. 
" We shall be like Him, foe (on) we shall see Him as He is." 
1 John iii. 2. 

Line 354. A "babe in glory is a babe for ever. 
This seems a necessary inference from snch Scriptures as declare 
that the harvest hereafter is according to the seed sown here : 
Gal. vi. 7. 2 Cor. ix. 6, &c. 

Line 372. A link betioixt mankind anal angelhood. 
This thought, and the one below of infants in glory resembling 
the lily- work in Solomon's temple, were suggested by a friend. 

Line 462. The strange salute of father. 
See 1 Cor. iv. 15. 1 Thess. ii. 19, 20. The joy of this spiritual 
relationship has its earnests on earth, which we may well believe 
will be deepened in Paradise, though awaiting the resurrection for 
its full glory. 

Line 554. While words, &c. 
Eev. i. 5, 6. 

Line 587. The Increate alone is self-sustain d. 
See Paradise Lost, Book v., lines 404 — 433, and especially the 
words, 

" For know whatever was created needs 
To be sustain'd and fed." 
The passage had escaped my memory while writing my lines, which 
were probably an unconscious echo of Milton's. 

Line 600. TJiey who iveep on earth shall laugh, &c. 
Luke vi. 21. 

Line 623. A cloud of witnesses. 
Heb. xii. 1. 

Line 642. He knew who spake of trees. 

1 Kings iv. 33. 

Line 667. Saints wait their bright apparelling. 

2 Cor. v. 4. 



II.] NOTES. 403 

Line 786. All are not equal there. 

" For orders and degrees 
Jar not with liberty, but well consist." 
Paradise Lost, Book v., line 792. 

Line 801. Many first were last, &c. 
Matt, xix. 30. 

Line 828. Of such babes as these, &c. 
Matt. xix. 14. When we remember what multitudes of little 
children, not only from Christian but also from heathen lands, are 
gathered home before they have committed actual sin, and are thus 
saved in Christ for ever, may we not believe that there is a direct 
historic fulfilment of these words of our Lord, as well as a spiritual 
meaning underlying them ? 

Line 839. A mystic time and times and half a time. 
Compare Dan. vii. 25 with Rev. xi. 3. 



Rev. ii. 13. 

See Eph. iii. 18, 19. 
Matt. iii. 3. 



Line 852. Antipas. 

Lines 875, 876. 
Line 884. The voice. 



Lines 890—892. 
u No wonder that even the holy mother, when she gazed on that 
august assemblage, when she saw, as perchance she might have seen, 
the now aged Hillel the looser, and Shammai the binder, and the 
wise sons of Betirah, and Rabban Simeon, Hillel's son, and Jonathan 
the paraphrast, the greatest of his pupils, when she saw these and 
such as these, all hanging on the lips of the Divine Child, no wonder 
she forgot all, &c." Ellicott's Historical Lectures, p. 92. 

Line 934. TJie matins of the Church. 
Gen. iv. 26. 

Line 980. They are not perfect here. 
For the testimony of Scripture to the state of the disembodied 
saints before the resurrection, the writer would venture to refer his 
readers to a little work of his called " The Blessed Dead." 



404 NOTES. [book 

Line 1002. Two diverse from the rest. 
It appears from the words of our Lord to Nicodemus (John iii. 13), 
that, when they were uttered, no man had ever ascended to the 
heavens of glory ; and, if Enoch and Elijah had not then ascended, 
we may well helieve they still await this lofty privilege with all the 
other saints of God. See note on Book vii., line 595. 



BOOK III. 

Line 21. Tartarean night. 
I have throughout this poem attempted rigidly to abstain from 
interweaving classical mythology with Scriptural realities. It has 
not been always easy to observe this restriction with phrases and 
stories familiar from childhood. But the above expression is no ex- 
ception to the rule I imposed upon myself, of only introducing those 
terms for the usage of which I could appeal to Holy Writ ; for St. 
Peter, speaking of angels who sinned, says, that "God having cast 
them down to Tartarus (rapTapcocras) delivered them into chains of 
darkness." (2 Pet. ii. 4.) 

Line 25. Yet deignest in the contrite heart to' abide, &c. 
See Paradise Lost, Book i., lines 17 — 23. 

Line 77. A horrid chasm. 
See Luke xvi. 26. 

Line 93. Darkness alone, &c. 
" A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, 
without any order, and where the light is as darkness." (Job x. 22.) 

Line 131. Needs not the shining of created light. 
In this, as in some other points, I have ventured to believe that 
Paradise will anticipate the glory that is to be revealed, for in Para- 
dise we shall be with Him who is the true, the archetypal Light. 

Line 142. A shield, &c. 
See Exod. xiv. 20. 

Line 144. Wliofain tvould pass, &c. 
See Luke xvi. 26. 



III.] notes. 405 

Line 149. Listening we might hear, &c. 
So Abraham is represented by our Lord as hearing the words of 
the rich man in Hades. 

Line 191. T/wse angels who forsook their high estate. 
See note on Book v., lines 807 — 817. 

Line 225. God's gift. 
See Gen. xxv. 21. Esau and Jacob were both of them given by 
God to Isaac in answer to prayer. 

Line 230. The moated fortress of a faithful home. 
See Ps. xci. 9—11. Prov. iii. 33. 

Line 253. Maxentius hurried, voicing to his gods, &c. 
" When Maxentius went forth to battle, he went fortified by 
heathen oracles, the champion of heathenism against the champion 
of the cross." Elliott's Horce, Yol. i., p. 243. 

Line 286. Not circumvented, &c. 

See 1 Tim. ii. 14. 

Line 310. The labarum emblazon d with the cross. 

" From as early a date as that of the great battle with Maxentius, 
according to the testimony both of Lactantius and Eusebius, Con- 
stantine adopted the cross as his distinctive military ensign. That 
object of abomination to the heathen Eomans was seen glittering on 
the helmets, engraved on the shields, and interwoven with the ban- 
ners of his soldiers. The Emperor's own person was adorned by it, 
wrought of richest material and of finest workmanship. Above all, 
in his principal banner, the labarum, he displa} r ed the same once 
accursed emblem, with a crown of gold and gems above it, and the 
monogram of the name of Him who after bearing the one now wore 
the other." Elliott's Horce, Yol. i., p. 239. 

Line 514. With ponderous noise, &c. 
See Paradise Lost, Book ii., line 880. 

Line 536. And then and there upon that guilty man, &c. 
This thought was first suggested by Southey's Kehama, xxiv. 18. 

Line 579. Know that Omnipotence can but perform, &c. 
From the words, " He cannot deny Himself" (2 Tim. ii. 13), we 



406 NOTES. [book 

learn there is that the Almighty cannot do. He cannot deny Him- 
self, either falsifying His word, or acting contrary to the counsels of 
His own infinite wisdom and righteousness. Omnipotence, there- 
fore, is not the power of doing whatever blind man may conceive 
possible, hut of accomplishing all that Omniscient Goodness sees to 
be right. I would refer the reader to some noble thoughts on this 
in Birks' Difficulties of Belief. 

Line 596. And not in utter solitariness. 
Compare Job iii. 18. Ps. xlix. 14. Isa. xiv. 16. 
Line 624. He caught a glimpse, &c. 
Luke xvi. 23. 

Line 700. Doth not consume in thee the secret spring. 
On the request of the rich man to Abraham that Lazarus might 
be sent to his brethren, lest they also should come to that place of 
torment (Luke xvi. 27 — 31), Matthew Henry writes, " He desired 
the preventing of their ruin, partly in tenderness to them for whom 
he could not but retain a natural affection ; he knew their temper, 
their temptations, their ignorance, their infidelity, their inconsidera- 
tion, and wished to prevent the destruction they were running into ; 
partly in tenderness to himself, &c." Holy Scripture does not 
oblige us to believe, with some theologians, the utter extinction of 
all natural feelings in the lost, but rather leads us to infer that, in 
proportion as they have depraved and vitiated those feelings on 
earth, do they suffer everlastingly. So Milton says — 
"For neither do the spirits damn'd 
Lose all their virtue." 
Paradise Lost, Book ii., line 482. And doubtless that Perfect 
Equity which distinguishes on earth the right acts of evil men 
(see for example, Jehu, 2 Kings x. 30, 31), must ever distinguish 
degrees of guilt. 

Line 750. Of this I will relate hereafter. 
Book viii., lines 291—594. 

Line 762. The seven last angels, kc. 
Rev. xv. and xvi. 

Line 780. Announcing to the prisoners of wrath, <fcc. 
I have ventured to believe that the Advent <rv. " Behold He 
cometh with clouds.'' which has been so often raised in Christendom 



III.] NOTES. 407 

during the last half-century, has not heen without its echo in the 
under- world of spirits. Such reverberations seem to he according 
to the analogy of Providence. 

Line 831. God would, but could not save me 'gainst my will. 

Compare " The Pharisees rejected (rjOirrjaav, in margin 'frustrated ') 
the counsel of God" (Luke vii. 30) ; and also the pathetic words, "How 
often would I (rjOtXrjo-a) . . . and ye would not" (ovk. rjOeXrjo-aTe), 
Matt, xxiii. 37. 

Lines 862 to 874, beginning If here, &c. 

See Book xi., where this thought is further unfolded. 
Line 875. For God Himself has sworn, <fec. 

See Phil. ii. 9 — 11, where we read " That in (iv) the name of 
Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in 
earth, and things undee the eaeth (KaraxOovlcov), and every 
tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." The expression 
" the things under the earth " Wordsworth, in his Notes on the 
Greek Testament, interprets " especially of Death and the Grave . . . 
and Satan himself and all the powers of darkness ;" and says, " The 
sense is best explained by Rev. v. 13, where the creatures beneath 
the earth join in ascribing honour to the Lamb." The momentous 
addition here of the things under the earth, compared with their 
equally notable absence in the parallel passages, Eph. i. 10, Col. 
i. 20, seems to import that, while lost angels and men are never 
reconciled to God or gathered together in Christ, but are consigned 
at the judgment to everlasting punishment, they will be for ever 
reduced to compulsory submission, and in this state of absolute 
order will ascribe glory to God. There will be no anarchy even in 
that world of outer gloom. The days of regnant rebellion are 
numbered. Christ must reign, till He hath put all enemies under 
His feet. See further notes on Book xi. 

Line 891. Silence reign d. 
Compare " The wicked shall be silent in darkness," 1 Sam. ii. 9. 

Line 910. As they had sinnd, they suffer d. 
Luke xii. 47, 48. 

Line 1024. What time a mighty conqueror, &c. 
Compare Isa. xiv. 4 — 20. 



408 NOTES. [book 

Line 1042. The captive angels, &c. 
See note, Book v., lines 807—817. 

Line 1052. Such tvere those ivho sought, &c. 

See Luke viii. 31, "They besought Him that He would not 
command them to go out into the deep" (els ttjv afivaarov, rendered 
"bottomless pit," Rev. xx. 3). The entreaty betokens, as expressed 
by another Evangelist, their fear of " torment before the time " 
(Matt. viii. 29). 



BOOK IV. 



Line 11. A babe of more than human beauty wept. 

Exod. ii. 6. In Acts vii. 20, we read the infant Moses was " ex- 
ceeding fair " (doreios rw Geo), " fair to God," or " fair in God's 
sight"). 

Line 15. Rivalry of hearts. 
1 Sam. xx. 41. 

Line 18. Who wash'd her Saviours feet. 
Luke vii. 37, 38. 

Line 37. Let David witness. 
Ps. lvi. 8. 

Line 46. Blind and bereft. 
Paradise Lost, Book iii., lines 51 — 55. 

Line 49. And he, who touch'd, &c. 
" The Winter Walk at Noon." Cowper. 

Line 56. He ivept with agonizing groans. 
Heb. v. 7. 

Line 93. Of evil overcome, &c. 
1 Cor. xv. 25, 26. 54. Rev. xx. 14. 



IV.] NOTES. 409 

Lines 136—138. 

Compare Heb. i. 2 and xi. 3, " He made the worlds " (tovq alcovas), 
or " the ages." 

Lines 171, 172. 

See Gen. xviii. 1, 2 ; xix. 1 ; and Acts i. 10, &c. 

Line 182. No angelic parentage. 

Hence angels are called the sons of God (Job xxxviii. 7), as is 
Adam (Luke iii. 38). 

Line 186. Lucifer, the first. 
Isa. xiv. 12. 

Line 189. Michael the prince. 
Dan. x. 13 ; xii. 1. 

Line 190. Gabriel, God's swift tcinged messenger. 
Dan. ix. 21. 

Lines 191, 192. Raphael and Uriel. 

These, with the two last named, were according to the rabbins 
the four angels who surround the throne of God. R. Bechai : the 
book Zohar. 

Lines 192 — 194. Baralciel, Ramiel, and Haamiel. 

Among the angels whose names have come down to us by Jewish 
tradition. Layard's Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 509 — 523. 

Lines 195, 196. 

Dumahoi Duma (silence), the angel who presides over the dead: 
Lailah (night), the angel who presides over conception : Yorekemo, 
the angel who is lord over the hail : and Suriel (access to God), an 
angel called " prince of the face," because he is continually in the 
presence of God. I am indebted for these Talmudic names to my 
learned friend, the Rev. John Ayre, whose kind interest in this 
poem, before its publication, I must take this opportunity of grate- 
fully acknowledging. 

Line 201. T7irones, virtues, principalities, and powers. 

" Whether they be thrones (Opovoi), or dominions (KvpiorrjTes), ro 
principalities (dpxai), or powers" (i£ovaiai), Col. i. 16. 



410 NOTES. [BOOK 

Line 220. I found myself alone. 
See Milton's exquisite description of Adam awaking to life. 
Paradise Lost, Book viii., lines 250 — 337. 

Line 233. An Angel among angels. 
" The Angel of His Presence saved them. " Isa. lxiii. 9. 

Lines 295—301, 
On the interpretation of the living creatures and crowned elders, 
as being angelic, not human, I must venture to refer to the notes in 
my Commentary on Eev. iv. 4 — 6 and v. 9, 10, the reading now 
generally approved of the last passage running thus : " Thou redeem - 
est them, i. e., the saints, to God by Thy blood, and hast made them 
(avrovs) unto our God kings and priests, and they reign (/3ao-iAev- 
ovdiv) on the earth." If this reading be adopted, the testimony of 
Scripture elsewhere is uniform in favour of their angelic nature. 

Line 306. Envy was unknown. 
So Plato, " Envy stands aloof from the celestial choir " ((f)66vos 
yap e|a) Belov xopov lorarai. Phasdrus, iii. 247). 

Line 322. Our earliest name. 

Deut. xxxiii. 2. Jude 14. 

Line 336. Mark 'd by sidereal orbits. 

" The same principles of the intersections of the solar and lunar 
periods, by which the units of the ordinary calendar are determined, 
when carried further up the ascending periods of time, produce even 
from the abstract relations of the celestial periods, the larger but 
corresponding units of 30 and 360 years, or the prophetic month 
and time. ... A Divine ladder of time is set before us, and, as we 
rise successively from step to step, days are replaced by years, and 
years by millennia ; and these perhaps, hereafter, in their turn by 
some higher unit from which the soul of man may measure out 
cycles still more vast, and obtain a wider view of the immeasurable 
grandeur of eternity." Birks' Elements of Prophecy, pp. 371, 372. 

Line 383. Firmament of morning stars. 
Job xxxviii. 7. 

Line 390. Which saith to Me, Thou art My only Son. 
See Ps. ii. 6, 7, "Yet have I set (' anointed ' Hebrew) My 
King upon My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the 



IV.] NOTES. 411 

Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son ; this day have I 
begotten Thee." Here the words " Thou art My Son " appear to 
proclaim the Eternal Godhead of the Word as being from ever- 
lasting to everlasting the coequal Son of the Father; and the 
words " This day have I begotten Thee " to declare His manifesta- 
tion as the Christ in time, a manifestation crowned and consum- 
mated by His resurrection (Acts xiii. 33). Thus in Hebrews xiii. 
8, where we read " Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and 
for ever," yesterday seems to respect the infinite past, to-day the 
course of time, and for. ever the ages of an eternity to come. 

Lines 403—409. 

" God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness 
above Thy fellows" (Ps. xlv. 7). And the Second Psalm quoted in 
the last note appears to point to some declaration of the Eternal 
Father's sovereign pleasure respecting the Eternal Son, the Heir 
of all things, as the occasion, or at least one occasion, of such 
anointing. 

Lines 422—449. 

See Birks' Difficulties of Belief, " On temptation in free agents," 
and " On the creation and fall of angels." 

Lines 534 — 545. Made of the dust, &c. 

" Man in virtue of his original creation occupies a central place 
among all the works of God. His immortal spirit links him with 
the hosts of angels, and he is only a little lower than they. Yet 
his animal life links him equally with the whole circle of animated 
and organized being, while his body, formed of the dust, is linked 
with all the planetary spheres by the laws of material gravitation. . . . 
The nature thus assumed [by the Son of God] in its original consti- 
tution admits of a perpetual increase, by which it may reflect, in the 
largest measure any created being is capable of doing, the absolute 
infinitude of the Uncreated Being." Birks' Ways of God, " On the 
Incarnation," pp. 108 — 111. And with respect to man's central 
position, see the corresponding truth regarding his terrestrial home, 
as sketched by Dr. Whewell in his most convincing essay, where he 
proves "the Earth is really the domestic hearth of this solar 
system, adjusted between the hot and fiery haze on one side, the 
cold and watery vapour on the other." Of the Plurality of Worlds, 
p. 320. 



412 NOTES. [book 

Line 625. Wrapt in impervious mists, &c. 
Geology seems to have established (1) that the earth has existed 
for vast periods of time before the creation of man ; (2) that each 
period terminated with an epoch of convulsion ; (3) that each period 
was an advance on the condition of the one preceding it ; (4) that 
the last great convulsion, by which the mountain chains of the Alps 
and Andes were thrust from below, occurred probably not more 
than ten thousand years ago. Now such a convulsion must have 
reduced our planet to the state described in the words, u The earth 
was (or rather ' had become 5 ) without form and void, and darkness 
was upon the face of the deep" (Gen. i. 2). I believe, therefore, in 
common with many, that the first verse of Holy Scripture narrates 
the original creation of the heavens and earth ; that the second verse 
describes the state of confusion to which our globe had been reduced 
by the last great terrestrial convulsion which preceded the history 
of our species ; and that the narrative which follows is an optical 
description of six literal days' creative work (each day probably cor- 
responding to some vast geological period), during which our world, 
as it now is, was fashioned by God in the sight of the angelic hosts. 
See Hitchcock's Geology j Birks' Bible and Modern Thought; 
McCaul's Essay in Aids to Faith ; McCausland's Sermons in Stones. 

Lines 648—652. 
See Hugh Miller's "Vision of Creation," Testimony of the Eocks. 

Line 949. God of the icorld and guardian of mankind. 
The titles ascribed to Satan and his angels appear to me too ex- 
plicit to be understood of merely usurped dominion, " the prince of 
this world" (John xii. 31, &c), " the god of this world" (2 Cor. iv. 4), 
" the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. ii. 2), " the rulers of 
the darkness of this world" (Eph. vi. 12), &c. The devil pro- 
bably veiled a falsehood under a garb of truth, when he said to our 
Lord, " All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them : for 
that is delivered unto me ; and to whomsoever I will I give it" 
(Luke iv. 6). 

Line 967. The Bridegrooms friend. 
See John iii. 29. 



V.] NOTES. 413 



BOOK V. 

Line 23. Nor odds appear d, &c. 

See Birks' Difficulties of Belief, pp. 91, 92. 

Line 61. Unf alien had Lucifer received his charge. 

When our Lord says, " He (the devil) was a murderer from the 
beginning, and abode not in the truth" (John viii. 44), the word 
rendered "murderer" (dv6pa)7roicT6vos), strictly " manslayer," indi- 
cates that no time anterior to the creation of man is intended, and 
seems to prove not only that the devil was the first sinner, but that 
the murder of our first parents' innocence was his first overt act of 
successful rebellion. Compare 1 John iii. 8. 

Line 67. Earth had not kept her circling birthday yet. 
This seems probable from the birth of Cain being subsequent to 
the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. 

Line 177. Another image of Omnipotence. 
" Ita fornicatur anima, cum avertitur abs te, et qua3rit extra te ea 
quae pura et liquida non invenit, nisi cum redit ad te. Perverse te 
imitantur omnes, qui longe se a te faciunt, et extollunt se adversum 
te. Sed etiam sic te imitando indicant creatorem te esse omnis 
naturae ; et ideo non esse quo a te omni modo recedatur. Quid 
ergo in illo furto ego dilexi : et in quo Dominum meum vel vitiose 
atque perverse imitatus sum ? An libuit facere contra legem saltern 
fallacia, quia potentatu non poteram, ut mancam libertatem captivus 
imitarer faciendo impune quod non liceret, tenebeosa omnipo- 
tently similitudine. Ecce est ille servus fugiens Dominum suum, 
et consecutus umbram. putredo, monstrum vitse, et mortis pro- 
funditas. Potuitne Kb ere quod non licebat, non ob aliud, nisi quia 
non licebat." S. Augus. Confes. liber ii. 14. 

Line 235. Who, if prolific as foretold, shall fill, &c. 
Gen. iii. 15. Matt. iii. 7. John viii. 44. 1 John iii. 8. 

Lines 354 — 356. 
See Paradise Lost, Book iv., lines 323, 324. 

Line 438. TJien first I saw, then spake I. 
See Paradise Lost, Book ix. s linos 549—732. Whether Milton 



414 NOTES. [book 

was the first to suggest that the serpent ascribed its own power of 
speech to the virtue of the fruit of the forbidden tree, I know not. 
But when once suggested, the thought appears so natural and neces- 
sary that any other method of approach would seem constrained 
and unlikely. 

Lines 506 — 525. 
See Paradise Lost, Book ix., lines 900 — 916. 

Lines 538—547. 
See Paradise Lost, Book ix., lines 163 — 171. 

Line 601. First altar, and first holocausts. 
" It is extremely probable that some beasts, sacrificed by Divine 
appointment, furnished the skins with which Adam and Eve were 
clothed." Scott. 

Line 626. Tlie mercy-seat. 
The cherubim are always represented in Holy Writ as in imme- 
diate attendance on the Divine Majesty when God stoops to com- 
munion with His creatures, or succours them in their hour of need. 
Thus the flaming sword appears symbolic of the Divine justice, and 
the cherubim of the Divine mercy. See this subject ably discussed 
in Dun's Biblical Natural Science, who states in confirmation of his 
own view, " The most eminent expositions left in the world, which 
are the two Jewish Targums, paraphrase the verse thus, ' And He 
thrust out the man, and caused the glory of His presence to dwell of 
old, at the East of the garden of Eden, above the two cherubim/ " 
Yol. i., p. 146. 

Line 651. Myriads havefalVn: myriads twice told are firm. 

" And his (the dragon's) tail drew a third part of the stars of 
heaven, and did cast them to the earth" (Bev. xii. 4). This Scripture, 
though as I believe describing events subsequent to our Lord's 
ascension, may afford some clue to the relative numbers of the elect 
and fallen angels. Compare Paradise Lost, Book v., line 710. 

Lines 682—694. 
Compare Job ii. 3. 

Line 707. Patient because Eternal. 
"JEternus est. tardat, longanimis est." S. Augus. in P*. xci. 6. 



V.] NOTES. 1 1 5 

Lines 719—730. 
Compare Dan. x. 13. 20. 2 Pet. ii. 11. Jude 9. 

Line 781. Clasp 'd as the promised Seed. 
" Some render the words * I have gotten a man from the Lord' 
(Gen. iv. 1), 1 1 have gotten a man, the Lord.' This sense is gram- 
matically the most natural one. Eve may have supposed that the 
promise (Gen. iii. 15) was now fulfilled." Wordsworth. 

Lines 790—797. 

Compare Gen. v. 24 with Jude 14, 15. 

Lines 807 — 817. TJziel and Samchasai Ms mate. 

These were the traditional names of the angels who fell and inter- 
married with the daughters of men (Targum Jonathan). See 
Gen. vi. 1 — 4. The judgment of the Jewish Church and of the 
most ancient fathers was express, that by " the sons of God," there 
named, angels were intended. Thus Josephus writes, " For many 
angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved 
unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confi- 
dence they had in their own strength." To which statement 
Whiston appends the note, " This notion, that the fallen angels were 
in some sense the fathers of the old giants, was the constant opinion 
of antiquity." And such, as Wordsworth who is not himself of this 
opinion says, was the view of Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Irenaeus, 
Athenagoras, Cyprian, and others. Since their time the current of 
interpretation has set in the opposite direction, and these "sons of 
God" have been held to be the godly descendants of Seth. But of 
these judgments, I am persuaded the old was better. 

In the first place, sons of God was then a distinctive name for angels. 
See Job i. 6 ; ii. 1 ; xxxviii. 7. The last is most emphatic, for it 
states that at the creation, when men were not, " all the sons of God 
shouted for joy." Secondly, in the passage itself the contrast is 
marked and express betwixt the spiritual nature of the sons of God 
and the complex nature of those with whom they mingled in un- 
holy wedlock. Thirdly, it is to this lapse of angels that in all pro- 
bability both St. Peter and St. Jude refer. The former writes, 
"God spared not angels (ayyeScov, there is no article) that sinned, 
but having cast them into hell, delivered them to chains of darkness, 
reserved unto judgment" (2 Pet, ii. 4). The latter, "And angels 



416 NOTES. [book 

(again there is no article, — angels, not men only), those who kept 
not their own principality (apx^v), but left their proper habitation, 
He hath kept under darkness with everlasting chains unto the judg- 
ment of the great day" (Jude 6). 

Other Scriptures, which speak of evil angels as having still free 
range over our fallen world (Job i. 7. 1 Kings xxii. 21. Zech. iii. 1. 
Matt. iv. 3. Mark v. 9. Eph. ii. 2; vi. 12. Eev. xii. 9—12), 
preclude our referring the words of St. Peter and St. Jude, quoted 
above, to all the angels who have fallen from their allegiance. And 
it seems most probable that the allusion is to Gen. vi. 1 — 4 ; for St. 
Jude proceeds to refer to Sodom and Gomorrah : of which cities he 
says that they " in like manner to these (tovtols, i. e. these angels) 
having given themselves over to fornication, and having gone after 
strange flesh, undergo the vengeance of eternal fire." The angels 
that fell debased their high original by commingling with the 
daughters of men : the inhabitants of Sodom not only lived in un- 
natural crimes (Rom. i. 27), but burned in their lust towards the 
celestial visitants who came under the shadow of Lot's roof. The 
rebel angels were cast down to Tartarus. The cities of the plain 
were overwhelmed with fire and brimstone, an awful type of the 
doom of their inhabitants. Thus like sin was visited with like in- 
dignation. 

Faber, in his Many Mansions, speaks very contemptuously of 
this view, as " sundry strange incongruous fables," and says, " Such 
idle tales the masculine mind of Milton rejected as forming no meet 
subject for poetry to any one who reverenced the Scriptures : he 
(Milton) rightly news the Mosaic sons of God as men, the once 
grave and holy posterity of Seth. See Paradise Lost, xi. 556 — 627." 
Be it so : but what were Milton's later and more matured thoughts, 
as expressed in Paradise Eegained (Book ii.. lines 178 — 181) ? 
" Before the flood, thou [Belial] and thy lusty crew, 
False titled sons of God, roaming the earth, 
Cast wanton eyes on the daughters of men. 
And coupled with them, and begot a race," &c. 
Milton's masculine mind, therefore, veered to the view here advo- 
cated, which can however only be decided by the general analogy of 
Scripture, and this seems to me decisive in its favour. See Bill's' 
Difficulties of Belief, p. 95 ; and the question argued under " Giants," 
Smith's Dictionary of the Bible. 



VI.] NOTES. 417 

Line 836. Grieved within His heart, &c. 

See Gen. vi. 6. 

Lines 900—920. 

See note on Book i., line 671 : to which I would only add a few 
words from Wordsworth's Commentary, who writes on Gen. vii. 21, 
" We may well believe that, as the flood increased veiy gradually, 
many may have repented who were not able to reach the ark ; and 
the Holy Scriptures reveal to us that the death of Christ and His 
descent into the place of departed spirits were not without benefit to 
them." And again on 1 Pet. iii. 20, " St. Peter says that the rest 
disobeyed while the ark was preparing. He uses the aorist tense, 
ciTreiBrjo-ao-L. He does not say that when the ark had been pre- 
pared, and when the ark was shut, and when the flood came, and it 
was too late for them to reach it, they all remained impenitent. 
Perhaps some were penitent at the eleventh hour, like the thief on 
the cross. " 



BOOK VI. 

Line 45. Some obscure suppliants. 

Gen. iv. 26. 

Lines 96 — 118, and 160 — 179. Baalim and Ashtaroth. 

" Ashtoreth was the principal female deity of the Phoenicians, as 
Baal was the principal male deity. It is a peculiarity of both names 
tbat they frequently occur in the plural, and are associated together 
in this form (Judg. x. 6. 1 Sam. vii. 4 ; xii. 10). Gesenius main- 
tained that by these plurals were to be understood statues of Baal 
and Astarte ; but the more correct view seems to be that of 
Movers, that the plurals are used to indicate different modifications 
of the divinities themselves. In the earlier books of the Old Testa- 
ment only the plural Ashtaroth occurs, and it is not till the time of 
Solomon, who introduced the worship of the Sidonian Astarte, and 
only in reference to that particular goddess Ashtoreth of the Sido- 
nians that the singular is found in the Old Testament (1 Kings xi. 
5. 33. 2 Kings xxiii. 13)." Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, under 

E e 



418 NOTES. [book 

Ashtoreth. My suggestion explains the plural form as in the parallel 
case of the holy cherubim and seraphim, described indifferently in 
the singular or plural number (Ps. xviii. 10; lxxx. 1. Ezek. x. 
15. 20), — whose association, however, is not represented as preclud- 
ing distinct and separate action (Isa. vi. 6. Kev. xv. 7). 

Lines 99—105. 
See Herschel's Outlines of Astronomy, Sec. 833 — 851. 

Lines 119—139. 
See Gen. xi. 1—9. 

Line 141. Apollyon. 
See Kev. ix. 11. 

Line 151. Ourselves o'er them presiding. 
Dan. x. 13. 20. 

Line 171. Mylitta calVd. 
" Among the groups of winged figures was a curious representation 
of the Assyrian Venus, Mylitta or Astarte, in an indecent posture, 
which indicated the peculiar nature of her worship." Layard's 
Nineveh, Vol. ii., p. 7. 

Lines 215—219. 
See Prov. vii. 26, 27. 

Lines 233—263. 
See Paradise Lost, Book i., lines 678 — 688. 

Line 265. Moloch. 
■ This fire-god was the tutelary deity of the children of Ammon : 
see 1 Kings xi. 7. And it is of this god Moses writes, " Thou shalt 
not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech " (Lev. 
xviii. 21). 

Line 381. O subtle Sammael. 
Sammael (blindness, or ignorance of God), the angel of death 
(Targum Jonathan). 

Lines 464 — 474. 
In symbol of the great leviathan, 
The dragon, &c. 
Compare the words of the prophet, " O arm of the Lord, awake as 



VI. J NOTES. 419 

in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that 
hath cut Eahab (Egypt), and wounded the dragon? Art thou not 
it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep ; that hath 
made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?" 
(Isa. li. 9, 10,) with the earlier prediction of a still future triumph, 
" In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword 
shall punish leviathan, the piercing serpent, even leviathan, that 
crooked serpent ; and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea" 
(Isa. xxvii. 1) ; and with the description of leviathan, " He be- 
holdeth all high things : he is a king over all the children of pride" 
(Job xli. 34). 

Line 483. Twice ten thousand chariots. 
Ps. lxviii. 17. 

Line 502, Moloch's shrine, and Hemphans star. 
Acts vii. 43. 

Line 521. Gaunt altars rose, &c. 
1 Kings xi. 7. 

Line 562. And slept. 
This may be inferred from " the secret being revealed in a night 
vision " (Dan. ii. 19). 

Line 608. Chaldeas monarch brooding o'er his dream. 
It seems probable that the image of gold which Nebuchadnezzar 
set up in the plain of Dura was a perversion of his dream ; and pos- 
sible that the furnace, into which the three children were cast, was 
that in which the metal had been fused for the gigantic idol. 

Line 640. Descending with the speed of seraphim. 
" Whiles I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, . . . being 
caused to fly swiftly, touched me," &c. (Dan. ix. 21.) These words 
appear to prove that intervals of space, however swiftly traversed, 
are not annihilated for angels. 

Lines 644—650. 
See Dan. x. xi. xii. 



E e 2 



420 NOTES. [book 



BOOK VII. 

Line 23. Of Jacob's dream. 
Gen. xxviii. 10—22. 

Line 25. Funereal rites on Pisgah's brow. 
Compare Dent, xxxiv. 6 with Jude 9. 

Line 27. Of that Arch-fiend, &z. 
Job i. 6, and ii. 1. 

Line 32. Of David moved by him, &c. 
1 Chron. xxi. 1. 

Line 33. Of the strife on Carmel, &c. 

1 Kings xviii. 19 — 40. 

Line 36. Of the car, that fiery car, &c. 

2 Kings ii. 11. 

Line 40. Of that false emissary, &c. 
1 Kings xxii. 21. 

Line 42. Of Joshua, son of Josedech, &c. 
Zech. iii. 1. 

Line 62. Watchman, what of the night ? 
Isa. xxi. 11. 

Line 94. Finding the rigid interdict relax' d, &c. 
" That whole period was the hour and power of darkness, of a 
darkness, which then immediately before the dawn of a new day 
was the thickest. ... It was exactly the period for such soul- 
maladies as these [demoniacal possessions], in which the spiritual 
and the bodily should be thus strangely interlinked, and it is nothing 
wonderful that they should have abounded then : for the predomi- 
nance of certain spiritual maladies at certain epochs of the world's 
history, which were especially fitted for their generation, with their 
gradual decline and disappearance in others less congenial to them, 
is a fact itself admitting no manner of question." Trench on 
Miracles, p. 162. 

Line 113. A heavenly cohort arnid, &c. 
" And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the 
heavenly host" (o-Tpartas, "army") (Luke ii. 13). In the word 



VII.] NOTES. 421 

"army" we may discern an intimation that this hour was not with- 
out peril from the hosts of darkness, who we know crowded in their 
malignity round the death of the Saviour (Luke xxii. 53), and would 
doubtless have gladly disturbed His birth. 

Line 133. Toole of the lamps, &c. 
The words of St. Matthew, " And lo, the star which they saw in 
the East went before them till it came and stood over where the 
young child was" (Matt. ii. 9), seem to decide that this miraculous 
appearance was some luminous meteor, like a star, which was not so 
distant, but that it seemed to move, and thus beckon the wise men 
to follow its leading. If so, it was probably through angelic 
agency. 

Line 150. Mary kept her secret close. 

Luke ii. 19. 

Line 153. His brethren, for they err, &c. 

In Matt. xiii. 55, 56 we read, " Is not this the carpenter's son ? 
is not His mother called Mary ? and His brethren, James, and Joses, 
and Simon, and Judas? and His sisters, are not they all with us ?" 
Many have sought to prove that by the brethren and sisters here 
named cousins are intended : but the simplest and fairest interpre- 
tation is, that the}' were the younger brothers and sisters of our 
Lord, the children of Mary and Joseph after the birth of Christ. 
They are mentioned after the marriage in Cana as going down with 
His mother to Capernaum (John ii. 12). They came with His mother 
to speak with Him (Matt. xii. 46. Mark iii. 31. Luke viii. 19). 
The only place in the Gospels where they are spoken of without 
Mary, is John vii. 3 — 10 ; but there it is added, " they did not 
believe on Him," which could not be said of her. And, when next 
we read of them, it is again with His mother (Acts i. 14). Such is 
the witness of the New Testament ; and there is a verse in the Old 
Testament (Ps. lxix. 8) which is strongly corroborative of this 
view. It is eminently a Messianic Psalm. And here we find not 
only " I am become a stranger unto my brethren" which might 
admit of a wider interpretation, but also, " and an alien unto my 
mother s children," which allows of but one meaning. The virginity 
of Mary before the birth of Christ is a great truth taught us by God 
Himself: her perpetual virginity afterwards is, I believe, a fiction of 



422 NOTES. [book 

man, without any warrant of Holy Scripture. See Alford's note on 
Matt. xiii. 55. 

Line 177. TJieir father sank. 
It seems almost certain from Joseph appearing in no incident of 
our Lord's public ministry, that he had died previously. 

Line 264. Eastward toivards the wilds of Araby. 
That the scene of the temptation was not the region between 
Jerusalem and Jericho, but the wilderness of Arabia, appears pro- 
bable from the incident mentioned by St. Mark, that our Lord " was 
with the wild beasts ;" and from the typical histories of Israel, 
Moses, and Elijah. See Wordsworth's note on Mark i. 13. 

Line 345. For on these very rocks, &c. 
Deut. viii. 3. 

Line 352. The dizzy porch, &c. 
" The most probable opinion is that ' the pinnacle of the temple' 
was the topmost ridge of the aroa fiaaikiKr), on the south side of the 
temple." Ellicott, 

Line 413. To me committed, &c. 

See note on Book iv., line 949. 

Line 534. The crest of snowy Sermon. 

" Standing amid the ruins of Csesarea, one does not need to ask 
where the Mount of Transfiguration is. Hermon, the grandest and 
most beautiful of all the mountains of Palestine, has established its 
claim to the title of the holy mount." (The Giant Cities of 
Bashan, p. 103.) Hermon's perennial snows may have suggested 
the words of the Evangelist, " His raiment became shining, exceed- 
ing white as snow" (Markix. 3). The traditional mountain, Tabor, 
was at that time probably crowned with a castle, and therefore 
almost certainly not the site. 

Line 543. Brought them one bodiless, embodied one. 
See note on Book ii., line 1002. 

Lines 574—590. 
Luke x. 17—20. 

Line 592. The lonely Ephraim. 
John xi. 54. 



VII.] NOTES. 423 

Line 595. Whose disembodied spirit ice sometime kept. 
The words " Christ is risen from the dead, the first-fruits of them 
that slept" (1 Cor. xv. 20), seem to indicate that although others 
had heen raised from the dead before the resurrection of our Lord 
(1 Kings xvii. 22. 2 Kings iv. 35 ; xiii. 21. Matt. ix. 25. Luke 
vii. 15. John xi. 44), His human spirit was the first which re- 
passed the gates of Death, and re-ascended from Hades to earth. 
Hitherto, vestigia nulla retrorsum. 

Line 601. The ride of lowly triumph, &c. 
Luke xix. 28—44. 

Line 607. The lonely curse. 
Matt. xxi. 19. 

Lines 614—623. 
John xii. 20—33. 

Line 625. He made the widow's heart, &c. 
Mark xii. 41 — 44, and xiii. 1. 

Line 626. As once EzeJciel saw, &c. 
Ezek. x. 4. 19, and xi. 23. 

Lines 638—642. 
These five lines ought to have been inserted after the words 
The peaceful Sabbath, line 600, for historical order. 

Lines 650 — 659. 
John xiii. 1 — 17. 

Line 674. Now readily assumed the ready throne. 
Luke xxii. 3. John xiii. 2. 27. 

Lines 678—692. 
John xvii. 1 — 26. 

Lines 821—836. 
" Having spoiled (dneKByadfievos, having stripped away from 
Himself) the (hostile) principalities and powers, He made a show 
of them with boldness, having triumphed over them in it (i. e. in the 
cross) " (Col. ii. 15). "The expression having stripped away from 
Himself most probably implies that our Lord by His death stripped 
away from Himself all the opposing hostile powers of evil that 



424 NOTES. [book 

sought in the nature which He had condescended to assume, to win 
for themselves a victory." Ellicott. 

Lines 837—858. 
See note on Book i., line 671. (1) That our Lord in His dis- 
embodied human spirit descended to the Hades of departed souls 
seems demonstrable from the words of David, " Thou wilt not leave 
my soul in hell " (Ps. xvi. 10), as expounded of Christ by St. Peter 
(Acts ii. 27. 31). See Pearson on the Creed. (2) That He visited 
the deep, not Gehenna, bat that region of Hades, on the nether 
side of the great gulf (Luke xvi. 23), in which the lost await the 
judgment of the great day, appears most probable from such Scrip- 
tures as the following: "Let not the waterflood overwhelm me, 
neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her 
mouth upon me " (Ps. lxix. 15) : and again, " Free among the dead, 
.... they are cut off from Thy hand : Thou hast laid me in the 
lowest pit, in darkness and in the deeps " (Ps. lxxxviii. 4 — 7) : see 
also Ps. xviii. 5 — 15, quoted below : and from the significant type of 
Jonah, who was cast into the deep before he was swallowed by the 
great fish. (3) That He gained the region of the Blessed Dead in 
Hades, betwixt the ninth hour, when He yielded up the Ghost, and 
the close of that Jewish day three hours after, may be regarded as 
certain from His words to the dying thief, " To-day shalt thou be 
with Me in Paradise " (Luke xxiii. 43). Thus while His atoning 
sacrifice was completed for ever on Calvary, it appears that His 
self-abasement was not ended on the cross, nor indeed until His 
resurrection. 

Lines 859—900. 
The Eighteenth Psalm seems expressed in language too majestic and 
august to bear the burden of a less mystery than that of the death 
and resurrection of David's Son and David's Lord. The close of the 
Psalm is quoted by St. Paul (Eom. xv. 9), as fulfilled in Christ : 
and this appears to justify a similar application of the magnificent 
proem. 

Line 913. He came not to the dead, &c. 
All the Scriptures which bear upon our Lord's going down to 
Hades, such as Ps. xvi. 9—11, Eph. iv. 9, 1 Pet. iii. 18, 19, 
represent it as an unprecedented act of Kedeeming love and con- 
descension. Nor are there wanting intimations in the Word of God 



VIII.] NOTES. 425 

that the accomplishment of Christ's work on earth was a mighty 
promotion in the bliss of those saints who had already fallen asleep 
in Him. Then, and not till then, are they called " the spirits of 
just men made perfect" (Heb. xii. 23). See Alford on Heb. xi. 40, 
who comparing the two verses says, " The writer seems to testify 
that the advent and work of Christ have changed the estate of the 
Old Testament fathers and saints into greater and perfect bliss, an 
inference which is forced on us by many other passages in Scrip- 
ture." Indeed it could hardly be otherwise, when we remember 
that the mystical body of Christ is one whole family in heaven and 
earth (Eph. iii. 15). 

Lines 928—936. 
See notes on Book i., line 671, and Book v., lines 900 — 920. 

Lines 1065—1085. 
Ps. xxiv. 

Line 1096. Advancing with Sis precious blood. 

Heb. ix. 12. 

Lines 1098—1104. 

See Eph. i. 20, 21. 

Line 1110. Cleansed with the virtue of Sis blood those courts, &c. 
Compare " It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness 
dwell ; and, having made peace by the blood of His cross, by Him to 
reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be 
things in earth, or things in heaven " (Col. i. 19, 20), with " It 
was necessaiy that the patterns of things in the heavens should be 
purified with these ; but the heavenly things themselves with 
better sacrifices than these " (Heb. ix. 23). On these passages I 
venture to refer the reader to my Commentary on the Xew Testa- 
ment. 



Exod. xv. 3, 
Rev. iv. 5. 



BOOK VIII. 

Line 49. Jehovah is a man of war. 
Line 54. The Sevenfold Spirit. 



426 NOTES. [book 

Line 80. Scatter d for a week of years. 
See note on Book viii. 821 — 936. The discomfiture of the hosts 
of darkness by the death and resurrection of Christ, synchronizing 
with the Pentecostal effusion of the Spirit, may afford another clue 
to the marvellous triumphs of the Gospel betwixt the ascension of 
our Lord, and the martyrdom of St. Stephen (Acts ii. 46, 47, and 
vi. 7). 

Line 108. As foreshadowed, &e. 
See John xii. 32. 

Line 163. The great Sigh Priest of God. 
Can this sacerdotal office explain why our Lord is here represented 
as standing at God's right hand? (Acts vii. 5o.) 

Line 172. For nine long months of years. 

See below, note on lines 270 — 287. 

Lines 185—202. 

For the historical interpretation of these symbolic horses, I must 
refer the reader to Elliott's Horse Apocalypticae, of which I have 
given a brief resume in my Commentary. I here only add my 
opening words : — 

" As the four successive empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and 
Rome were prefigured in vision to the prophet Daniel by the 
emblems of a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a fourth beast, dreadful 
and strong exceedingly, and as in another vision the kingdoms of 
Persia and of Greece had been respectively foretold by the symbols 
of a ram and a goat, so here the Eoman empire is depicted under 
the emblem of a war-horse, an animal sacred to Mars, the reputed 
father of their nation, and as such emblazoned on their coins and 
standards. The compound symbol of the horse and its rider 
signifies the empire and its imperial government. This was the 
great antagonistic power to Christ and His kingdom in the apostle's 
days. And as in this prophecy we have two cities set before us 
in vivid contrast — Babylon and Jerusalem ; two women — one the 
mother of harlots, the other the Bride, the Lamb's wife; two 
armies — those of hell and of heaven ; two thrones — that of Satan 
and that of God, so at the close we read of another white horse 
and its rider, the true King of kings and Lord of lords. But here, 
as is evident, whatever this composite emblem signifies under the 
first seal, it must signify under the second, third, and fourth." 



VIII.] NOTES. 427 

Line 226. Perpetua. 

See Milner's Church History, Vol. i., pp. 304—309. 
Lines 253—259. 

The historical fulfilment of the fifth seal (Rev. vi. 9 — 11) is 
doubtless to be found in those fierce and sanguinary persecutions 
of the Church of Christ, which breaking out from time to time 
during the first three centuries, reached their terrible climax in the 
reign of Diocletian. It was the last convulsive effort of heathen- 
dom to crush Christianity. For ten dreadful years the waves of 
fiery trial rolled successively over the provinces of the Roman 
empire. Every province yielded its contingent to the noble army 
of witnesses for the truth. And this period is distinguished in 
history as " the era of martyrs." 

Lines 260—269. 
The sixth seal (Rev. vi. 12 — 17) prefigures, as I believe, the over- 
throw of Paganism throughout the Roman empire at the time of 
Constantine. That the figurative language employed is not too 
strong to foreshadow that mighty revolution, will appear from 
comparing with it the emblematic prefigurements in Scripture of 
other national catastrophes. See Isa. xiii. 9 — 13. Jer. iv. 23. 
Ezek. xxxii. 7. 

Lines 270—287. 

On the significance of the mystic Bride, and of the dragon (Rev. 
xii. 1 — 6), I venture to make the following extracts from my Com- 
mentary : — 

"And there appeared a great tvonder in heaven — the Roman 
firmament of political power and ascendancy — a woman clothed 
toith the sun, Sfc. This woman, who is spoken of as the mother of 
' those who keep the commandments of God ' (ver. 17), is without 
doubt the true visible Church of Christ on earth. Her clothing 
with the sun imports her investiture with imperial favour; the 
moon, which, as the faithful witness in heaven (Ps. lxxxix. 37), 
reflects the light of the sun, being under her feet, signifies her 
ecclesiastical supremacy in a Christian empire : her coronal of 
twelve stars may well represent her glory as upholding a faithful 
pastorate, the pastorate of those who cleave to the doctrine of the 
twelve apostles ; and her pregnancy and travail denote a period of 
oppression and agony before a crisis of deliverance, and fruit-fulness, 



428 NOTES. [book 

and joy. So it is said of Jerusalem. ' Before she travailed she brought 
forth ; before her pain came she was delivered of a man child. . . . 
Shall a nation he horn at once?' (Isa. lxvi. 7, 8. C£ Mic. v. 3.) 

" Such was the state of the Church when the Emperor Constantine 
first embraced the faith of Christ, and threw over her the mantle of 
his imperial protection. Purified in the furnace of the Diocletian 
persecution, ■ she looked forth as the morning, fair as the moon, 
clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners ' (Song vi. 
10). Moreover, it has been observed that 'as the time of gestation 
from the conception to the birth in women with child is known 
to be forty weeks, or two hundred and eighty days, so, from the 
first rise of our Saviour's kingdom, at His resurrection and ascen- 
sion, a.d. 33, till the famous edict for the universal liberty and 
advancement of Christianity by Constantine and Licinius, a.d. 313, 
which put an end to the pangs of birth in the heaviest persecution 
that ever was then known, was exactly two hundred and eighty 
years.' Whiston. 

"And there appeared another wonder in heaven — i.e., as before, 
in the firmament of the Eoman empire — and behold a great 
dragon, fiery red, Sfc. The great dragon is the devil (see ver. 9), 
the god of this world. In the Old Testament the power of Egypt, 
as the enemy of God and of His Church, is thus described (Isa. 
xxvii. 1 ; li. 9. Ezek. xxix. 3). But here the devil is represented 
as animating the pagan empire of Eome ; for the seven heads of 
the dragon signify the seven hills on which Borne was built, and 
the seven forms of government which successively prevailed there. 
(See Bev. xvii. 9 — 18.) The ten horns denote the ten kingdoms 
into which the western empire was at length divided (Dan. vii. 23 
— 27), which had as yet received no sovereignty." 

In the rapture of the woman's new-born child to God and His 
throne, we may not only trace the political ascendancy of Chris- 
tianity, but followed as it is by her own flight into the wilderness 
for 1260 years, we are reminded that during the time of the 
Church's warfare, her kingdom is not of this world. 

Lines 292—591. 

The following extract will show the terrestrial meaning I attach 

to the celestial warfare described Bev. xii. 7 — 12. One thing only 

I would add. that if, as I humbly conceive, there has been a real 

counterpart to the conflicts of the Church militant here on earth in 



VIII.] NOTES. 429 

the heavenly places themselves, such war, I am persuaded, took 
place, not as our great poet describes it, before the creation of man, 
but after the ascension of our Lord. 

" And there was war in heaven, $[c. This war in the firmament 
of the Roman empire seems to embrace all the conflicts between 
heathenism and Christianity for political ascendancy, a.d. 311 — 
363, from Constantine's first avowal of the faith of Christ to the 
death of Julian the apostate. How far the hosts of darkness and 
the angels of light intermingled in these conflicts is one of those 
deep mysteries upon which the light of Scripture shines but dimly. 
We know that St. Paul, describing the daily warfare of the saints, 
says, * We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against princi- 
palities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this 
world, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places ' (Eph. 
vi. 12). We know that when Elisha was in danger, 'the mountain 
was full of horses and chariots of fire round about him ' (2 Kings 
vi. 17). Nor, if such are the foes and such the guardian spirits of 
every servant of God, is it unlikely that the eventful contest on the 
Roman earth had its counterpart in a yet more terrible struggle 
betwixt the armies of the archangel Michael and the legions of the 
prince of the power of the air (Eph. ii. 2). This is confirmed by 
Dan. x. 13. 21 ; xii. 1, and Jude 9. But, deeply interesting as are 
these glimpses into the world of spirits, the terrestrial conflict 
betwixt Paganism and Christianity seems mainly prefigured in this 
symbolic language. The warfare was long and sharp, but it ended 
in the total defeat of heathenism, and in the deposing of idolaters 
from all rule and authority. They never regained their supremacy. 
The saints of God thought indeed that the predicted triumph of 
Messiah's kingdom had arrived. The end was not yet. But it 
was in itself a true and glorious victory, and the pgeans of the Church 
on earth were re-echoed by the loftier hallelujahs of exulting angels 
and of the spirits of the just made perfect in heaven. They saw 
therein a pledge of the final dethronement of Satan. They rejoiced 
that he could no longer prefer his ceaseless and bitter accusations, 
as of old. They ascribed all the victory to the blood of the Lamb, 
and to the word of the martyrs' testimony. They called on all the 
inhabitants of heaven to swell the tide of gratitude and joy. 
While a deeper note of warning, perhaps issuing from the throne 
of God, predicted the yet bitterer and more deadly wrath of the 
ejected spirit of evil, during the short time of his permitted devas- 



430 NOTES. [book 

tations. The time might seem long to the weary and waiting 
Church, but it was short as recorded in the annals of heaven, and in 
prospect of the eternity to come." 

Line 597. A strange refrain of woe. 

See Rev. xii. 12. 

Line 659. First let us loose, &c. 

Rev. xii. 15. 

Line 670. Now let us counterfeit Himself Triune. 

Such a threefold conspiracy, the master-piece of hell, is described 
in the Apocalypse, where St. John says, " I saw a wild beast rising 
up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, . . . and upon his 
heads the name of blasphemy : . . . and the dragon gave him his 
power, and his throne, and great authority. . . . And I saw another 
wild beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a 
lamb, and he spake as a dragon, and he exerciseth all the power of 
the first beast in his presence (ivconiov avrov), and causeth the earth 
and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast " (Rev. xiii. 
1, 2. 11, 12). Here the dragon, as appears from ch. xii. 3, repre- 
sents Pagan Rome ; the first wild beast, Rome Papal ; the second 
wild beast, who is described as " the false prophet who wrought 
miracles in the beast's presence " (ch. xix. 20), the Papal hierarchy. 
The Paganism of ancient Rome was merged in the great Anti- 
christian apostasy, and this was supported to the utmost by the 
hierarchy of that corrupt Church. 

But not only did the dragon represent the persecuting power of 
Pagan Rome, but we are expressly told that the dragon is " that 
old serpent, called the devil and Satan " (Rev. xii. 9). There was a 
spiritual agent animating Paganism, none other than the prince of 
hell. Hence by analogy we may infer there was another spiritual 
agent animating Papal Rome, to whom the dragon tendered his 
power, and yet a third spiritual agent animating the Papal hier- 
archy. Such an hypothesis is strongly confirmed by the intense 
personality which breathes in the words, " These both (the beast 
and the false prophet) were cast alive into a lake of fire burning 
with brimstone" (Rev. xix. 20; and see xx. 10). Such an asso- 
ciation of evil spirits is not without parallel, as appears from the 
words of our Lord (Matt. xii. 43 — 45), and might be well antici- 
pated from the malignity of the powers of darkness in their last 
conspiracies against the truth. 



VIII.] NOTES. 431 

Line 712. His well-beloved, by us betray d, debauclid. 
For proof that the woman upon whose forehead was a name 
written, " Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of 

HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH " (Rev. Xvii. 5), is 

none other than the Papal Church, I would refer the reader to 
Archdeacon Wordsworth's masterly essay " Is not the Church of 
Rome the Babylon of the Apocalypse ?" an essay which is in 
my view altogether unanswerable. 

Line 743. The bride is hidden in the tvilderness. 
Rev. xii. 6 and 14. 

* Lines 751— 793. 
See Rev. vi. and vii., which I believe embrace the history of the 
fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries. 

Line 797. Baalim, heaVd of his wound, &c. 
See Rev. xiii. 1, and xvii. 8, where we read, " The beast that thou 
sawest was and is not ; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and 
shall go into perdition : and they that dwell en the earth shall 
wonder, whose names are not written in the book of life from the 
foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and 
is not, and yet is." The beast as an imperial Pagan power was slain 
by the sword of Constantine, but yet ascends out of the abyss, as 
popery, born of hell, ascended to reanimate the sinking empire of 
Rome, and shall go into perdition when its destined reign of 1260 
years is finished. This is an infernal counterfeit of the resurrection 
of the Lord of life. 

Lines 830—852. 
See Rev. ix., which by a marvellous consensus of interpreters is 
allowed to describe the rise and progress of Mohammedanism. 
Almost simultaneously at the beginning of the 7th century, Popery 
in the West, and the religion of the false prophet in the East, arose 
to try to the uttermost the faith of God's elect. 

Line 889. Lo,from the heavens descended, One, &c. 
See Rev. x. 1 — 7, which describes the blessed Reformation. 

Line 914. According to His word. 
Matt. x. 23. 



432 NOTES. [book 

Lines 933—954. 
See Rev. xv. and xvi., which I believe delineate those prepara- 
tive judgments of the last and present century, that usher in 
the Advent of the Prince of Peace. 

Line 979. As he had opend things unknown by me, &c. 
See Paradise Lost, Book viii., lines 203 — 205. 

Line 1019. The first portends our tryst. 
See Num. x. 1—10. 



BOOK IX. 



Line 67. Not spouse, but ivhat is symbolized by spouse. 
The words of our Lord are express, " The children of this world 
marry and are given in marriage ; but they which shall he accounted 
worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, 
neither marry nor are given in marriage ; neither can they die any 
more ; for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of 
God, being the children of the resurrection" (Luke xx. 34 — 36), and 
for ever close the door against any theories of a Mohammedan 
Paradise. 

Line 71. A reflex glory and image of myself. 
1 Cor. xi. 7. 

Lines 120—148. 
There are many intimations in Holy Scripture that the latest con- 
flicts of the Church will be the worst, her last birth-pangs the most 
severe. (Isa. lix. 19, 20. Dan. xii. 1. Luke xviii. 8. Rom. viii. 
19—22.) 

Lines 156—205. 
If the Paradise of the Blessed Dead is below (see note on Book i., 
line 671), it follows that there must be an ascent of the disembodied 
saints to earth before, at the voice of God, they are raised from the 
grave, and before their spirits, reunited to their glorified bodies, 
rise to meet the Lord in the air. 

Lines 216—246. 
See Ezek. i. 1 — 28. These lines are transferred, with some modi- 



IX.] NOTES. 433 

fixations, from my Seatonian Prize Poem " Ezekiel." The pro- 
phet's sublime vision of the chariot of Deity is the alone source 
from which any writer could venture to draw. See Milton's admi- 
rable paraphrase, Paradise Lost, Book vi., lines 746 — 766. 

Line 298. The Lord Himself descended with a shout. 
See 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17. 

Line 306. TJie incandescent sky from East to West. 
Matt. xxiv. 27. 

Line 312. Save on the hills of Zion, &c. 
Compare Dan. x. 7, and Acts ix. 7. 

Lines 367—391. 
It appears that the fall of Babylon (Eev. xiv. 8 ; xvi. 19 ; 
xviii. 1 — 24) takes place at the Advent of our Lord, when He comes 
for His saints, but that the destruction of the Papal Antichrist and 
the binding of Satan do not occur, however short the interval may 
be, until He returns, after the marriage supper, with His saints. 
See Eev. xix. 19—21 ; xx. 1, 2. 

Lines 392—414. 
See Zech. xii. 10—14 ; xiii. 1. Mai. iv. 5, 6. Although John 
Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah, our Lord's words are 
express, that Elijah himself " shall come and restore all things" 
(Matt. xvii. 11). 

Lines 440—462. 
Ezek. xvi. 1 — 14. 

Line 472. My love, My dove, &c. 
Song of Solomon i. 15 ; ii. 16 ; iv. 7 ; v. 2. 

Line 566. The marriage supper of the Lamb. 
Rev. xix. 9, and Luke xxii. 30. 

Line 615. Half a tceelc of years. 
There are many who think that the duration of Israel's last fiery 
trial will be for three years and a half, from Dan. ix. 27 and other 
Scriptures. 

Lines 628—679. 
Rev. xix. 11—16. and Ps. xlv. 2—17. 

Ff 



131 



NOTES. 



[BOOK 



BOOK X. 

Line 43. There remains a Sabbath, &c. 
"There remain eth, therefore, a rest (cra/3/3aTio7xoff, 'a sabbath 
rest') for the people of God" (Heb. iv. 9). 

Line 45. But not as many thought. 
So Cowper in his exquisite lines — 

" Six thousand years of sorrow have well nigh 
FulfiU'd their tardy and disastrous course 
Over a sinful world ; and what remains 
Of this tempestuous state of human things 
Is merely as the working of a sea 
Before a calm, that rocks itself to rest." 

Winter Walk at Noon. 

Lines 59—103. 

See Ezek. xxxviii. 1 — 16. Dan. xii. 1. Zech. xiv. 1 — 3. 
Lines 106—120. 

The last form of the abomination of desolation (Matt. xxiv. 15) : 
the last usurpation of the Papal Antichrist who " exalteth himself 
above all that is called God, or that is worshipped ; so that he as God 
sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" 
(2 Thess. ii. 4) : the last development of the mystery of iniquity, the 
triple conspiracy of hell (Rev. xix. 19). See note on Book viii., 
line 670. 

Lines 121—133. 
The solemn words of our Lord, " How can Satan cast out Satan ? 
And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot 
stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot 
stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he can- 
not stand, but hath an end" (Mark iii. 23 — 26), suggest that at the 
time of the end there will be such a dissolution of the conspiracy of 
hell, such a rupture in the empire of darkness, such a suicidal strife 
amid the principalities of evil. 

Line 161. Behind Elijah's mantle. 
See note, Book ix., lines 392—414. 



X.] NOTES. 435 

Lines 163—182. 
See Ps. 1. 3. The last clause of Zech. xiv. 5. 2 Thess. i. 7—9. 
Rev. i. 7. 

Lines 187—201. 
" These both (the beast and the false prophet) were cast alive into 
a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Rev. xix. 20). 

Lines 201—215. 
R«v. xx. 1—3. 

Lines 219—247. 
" For behold the Lord' will come with fire and with His chariots 
like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke 
with flames of fire : for by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead 
with all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many" (Isa. lxvi. 
15, 16). This is parallel with Rev. xix. 21. On the discriminative 
character of this fiery judgment, see an earlier prophecy in the 
Apocalypse (Rev. xiv. 9 — 11). 

Lines 248—259. 
See Isa. xiv. 9—20. 

Line 284. His feet rested on Olivet. 
Zech. xiv. 4. 

Lines 288—298. 
Compare " When thou passest through the fire thou shalt not be 
burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee" (Isa. xliii. 2), 
with the remarkable words, " I have covered thee in the shadow of 
Mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of 
the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art My people" (Isa. li. 16). 

Line 307. The mountain of the Lord had risen sublime. 
Isa. ii. 2. Micah iv. 1. 

Line 308. Olivet teas cleft. 
Zech. xiv. 4. 

Line 319. A river of perennial waters flow d. 
Ezek. xlvii. 1—12. Zech. xiv. 8. 

Line 336. Zion rose. 
Isa. lx. 1. 

Ff 2 



436 NOTES. [book 

Line 338. Entering His temple courts. 

Compare Ezek. xliii. 1 — 5. 

Line 368. Words of grateful praise. 

"And then shall every man have praise of God" (1 Cor. iv. 5). 
Line 415. For full fruition of the light of God. 

That the beatific vision of the face of the Eternal Father is pos- 
sible for created beings, if unfallen, appears from the words of our 
Lord respecting the angelic guardians of the little ones who believe 
in Him, " In heaven their angels do always behold the face of My 
Father which is in heaven" (Matt, xviii. 10) : but that this loftiest 
privilege is not vouchsafed to the Church Universal until after the 
Millennium and after the final judgment, may be perhaps inferred 
from the reservation till then of this glorious promise in the Apoca- 
lypse, ''They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their 
foreheads" (Rev. xxii. 4). If so, the Millennial Sabbath, as we 
might have surmised, will be in this respect also an education for 
that which is to come. 

Lines 418—438. 
Ps. lxvii. 1, 2. Isa. xxxii. 15 ; Hi. 7. Matt. xi. 11. 

Lines 439—464. 
Isa. xxxv. 1—10 ; xli. 18—20 ; lv. 12, 13. 

Lines 465—489. 
Isa. xi. 6 — 9 ; lxv. 25. 

Lines 490—505. 
Joel ii. 21 — 27. Isa. xxx. 26. 

Line 505. War was unknoivn, Sec. 
Isa. ii. 4. 

Line 510. Babel's confusion was unlearn'd, &c. 
Not only " in that day shall there be one Lord," but it is added, 
" And His name one" (Zech. xiv. 9). " Tongues shall cease" 
(1 Cor. xiii. 8). One song arises from every creature on the earth 
(Eev. v. 13). 

Line 514. No labour now was lost, &c. 
See Ps. lxxii. Isa. lx. 



XI.] NOTES. 437 

Line 520. David, vicegerent, &c. 
Ezek. xxxvii. 25. 

Line 522. The Twelve, &c. 
Matt, xix. 28. 

Line 527. A royalty of priests. 
Isa. lxi. 6. 

Line 546. Evil lurTcd unseen, &c. 
This appears from the remarkable prophecy which, describing the 
Millennial state, says, " The child shall die an hundred years old, 
but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed" (Isa. 
lxv. 20). Here we read of sin and curse and death; whereas, after 
the Millennium and the judgment, death shall be destroyed, and 
there shall be no more curse (Rev. xxi. 4, and xxii. 3). 

Line 556. Nor prophecy teas mute. 
Rev. xx. 7. 

Line 567. Nor ivounds, though rare, &c. 
Ezek. xlvii. 12. 

Line 585. And angels up and, down those radiant stairs, &o. 
Compare John i. 51 with Gen. xxviii. 12. 



BOOK XL 

Lines 1 — 11. 
" The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall 
gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do 
iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire : there shall be 
wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. xiii. 41, 42). 

Line 19. Oppressive silence, &c. 
" The wicked shall be silent in darkness" (1 Sam. ii. 9). 

Line 25. Silence but no sleep, &c. 
Isa. lvii. 21. Rev. xiv. 11. 



438 NOTES. [book 

Line 41. The Lord is righteous. 
Exod. ix. 27. 

Line 80. Shall we humbly sue, &c. 
See Paradise Lost, Book iv., lines 80 — 104. 

Lines 148—157. 
" That he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand 
years should be fulfilled : and after that he must be loosed a little 
season" (Rev. xx. 3). 

Lines 191—195. 
" And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed 
out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are 
in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them 
together to battle : the number of whom is as the sand of the sea" 
(Rev. xx. 7, 8). 

Lines 198, 199. 
See Paradise Lost, Book x., lines 410 — 414, 

Lines 206—215. 
See Paradise Lost, Book ix., lines 58 — 68. 

Line 220. The sparse and rare remains of ill. 
See note, Book x., line 546. 

Line 233. Penuel. 
See Book iv., lines 456—469. 

Lines 308—318. 
See Isa. lxvi. 23, and Zech. xiv. 16. 

Lines 406—432. 
" And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and com passed 
the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city" (Rev. xx. 9). 

Line 434. Which shook the first fell council of the damnd. 
See Book vi. ; lines 420—424. 

Line 443. The dreadful storm of fire, &c. 
" And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured 
them" (Rev. xx. 9). 



XI.] NOTES. 439 

Line 448. A whisper ran, Sec. 
See Exod. xiv. 25. 

Lines 466—492. 
" And Death and Hades delivered up the dead that were in them" 
(Rev. xx. 13). " All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and 
shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of 
life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damna- 
tion" (John v. 28, 29). From Rev. xx. 4, 5, we learn that a thou- 
sand years intervene betwixt the resurrection of the just and that 
of the unjust, although in the perspective of prophecy they are often 
presented simultaneously to our view. 

Lines 493—513. 
" And Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. xx. 14). 
It is only of the Hades of the lost St. John is here speaking. 

Lines 514 — 532. 
See 2 Pet. iii. 7 — 10. That the camp of the saints and the 
beloved city will be exempted from this final fire, having been 
already purified at the beginning of the Millennium, seems clear 
from Rev. xx. 9, and Isa. li. 16. 

Lines 533—568. 
" And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sate on it, from 
whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found 
no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand 
before God : and the books were opened : and another book was 
opened, which is the book of life" (Rev. xx. 11, 12). And compare 
Dan. vii. 9, 10. 

Lines 569—597. 
Matt. xxv. 31—33. Rom. xiv. 10—12. 1 Cor. iv. 5. See also 
Matt. x. 42. 2 Cor. ix. 6. 2 Tim. iv. 8. Rev. xxii. 12. 

Lines 611—619. 
Matt. xxv. 34, 

Lines 620—646. 
" Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world ?" (1 Cor. 
vi. 2.) 

Lines 647—679. 
" Reserved unto judgment" (2 Pet. ii. 4). " Know ye not that we 
shall judge angels?" (1 Cor. vi. 3.) 



440 NOTES. [book 

Lines 680—719. 
" It shall bruise thy head" (Gen. iii. 15). " And the devil that 
deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where 
the beast and the false prophet are" (Rev. xx. 10). 
Lines 761—768. 
Matt. xxvi. 24. 

Lines 774—780. 
See Book viii., lines 226 — 252. 

Lines 806—814. 
" They watch for your souls as they that must give account, that 
they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable 
for you" (Heb. xiii. 17). 

Lines 829—841. 
Matt. xxv. 41. Rev. ii. 26, 27. 

Lines 842—854. 
"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment" (Matt, 
xxv. 46). 

Line 855. All shook except the Throne of Judgment. 
See Paradise Lost, Book vi., lines 831 — 834. 
Line 864. He was in tears. 
Compare Gen. vi. 6. Ezek. xviii. 32. Luke xix. 41 — 44. 
Line 875. And judgment is Sis strange and dreadful work. 
" That He may do His work, His strange work ; and bring to 
pass His act, His strange act" (Isa. xxviii. 21). 
Lines 883—893. 
Rev. xiv. 10, 11, and xix. 3. 

Lines 893—901. 
Heb. x. 31 ; xii. 29. 

Lines 902—931. 
See note, Book iii., line 875. On this most solemn and awful 
theme, I would only add that Holy Scripture supplies us with the 
most express assurances that the powers of evil shall be for ever 
subjugated under the feet of the Son of God. His enemies shall be 
made His footstool (Ps. ex. 1). " He must reign till He hath put 
all enemies under His feet" (1 Cor. xv. 25). " For this purpose 



XII.] NOTES. 441 

the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy (Kvctt]) the 
works of the devil" (1 John iii. 8). These Scriptures stand in- 
flexibly opposed to that media3val tradition, which pictures devils 
tormenting men, and men blaspheming God for ever, and assure us 
of the eternal repression of every act of evil, and of the eternal 
silencing of every word of rebellion. 

Lines 944—994. 
Nor is the repression of evil the only result of the Divine judg- 
ment which the Word of God reveals. It also declares that even the 
lost shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the 
Father (Phil. ii. 9—11. Rev. v. 13). So of Pharaoh, the most 
signal example of obduracy which earth has seen, God says, " I will 
at this time send all My plagues upon thine heart . . . that thou 
mayest know that there is none like Me" (Exod. ix. 14) : for a time 
Pharaoh did know and confess, " The Lord is righteous, and I and 
my people are wicked" (Exod. ix. 27) : but the judgment being re- 
laxed, he rebelled again and again. In that future world of woe, 
the punishment is eternal (Matt. xxv. 46. 2 Thess. i. 9), and the 
enforced submission and confession will be eternal likewise. And 
then shall the marvellous words of the Psalmist be acknowledged 
by all, " God hath spoken once, twice have I heard this ; that 
power belongeth unto God: also unto Thee, Lord, belongeth 
meecy ; for Thou renderest to every man according to his work" 
(Ps. lxii. 11, 12). 



BOOK XII. 

Line 47. The earth, emerging from her flood of fire, &c. 
St. John says, " I saw a new heaven and a new earth ; for the 
first heaven and the first earth were passed away" (Rev. xxi. 1). 
Our first impression from these words, which introduce the glories 
of the eternal ages beyond the Millennium, might be that the pre- 
sent heavens and earth would be utterly brought to nought. Other 
Scriptures, however, prove that not the annihilation, but the renova- 
tion of our world, is here foretold. Thus the land of promise was 
given to Abraham and his seed for an "everlasting possession" 
(Gen. xvii. 8). Zion, we read, shall be "an eternal excellency" 



4 18 NOTES. [book 

(Isa. lx. 15). Jesus Christ " upon the throne of His lather, David, 
will reign over the house of Jacob for ever ; and of His kingdom 
there shall be no end" (Luke i. 33). God will not M un-create," but 
M re-create" that which He has made for His glory. That the terms 
here used do not compel us to interpret them as signifying " annihi- 
lation," appears from a comparison of the language used by St. Peter 
in describing the deluge, "the world that then was perished" 
(2 Pet. iii. 6. 13), and from the yet more striking parallel of the new 
birth of the soul to God, " If any man be in Christ, he is a new 
creation : old things are passed away ; behold, all things are become 
new" (2 Cor. v. 17). The world, though it "perished" in the 
deluge, was not annihilated ; and the soul, that is born of God, 
though renewed, does not lose its identity with its former self. 
This will be the perfected " regeneration," of which our Lord spoke 
(Matt. xix. 28). The renewal, which commences at the second 
Advent, and continues during the Millennium, will be consummated 
after the final judgment. The Millennial heavens and earth will be 
new, compared with those which are now (see Isa. lxv. 17 — 25) ; but 
tli is renovation will only be completed in those which are to last for 
ever and can never be shaken or removed. 

Line 60. Her late apparel was not found. 
Ps. cii. 25, 26. 

Lines 65 — 75. 



See Rev. xix. 3. 
See Isa. liv. 1 — 10. 



Lines 91—102. 



Lines 102—127. 
" God is gone up with a shout, the Loed with the sound of a 
trumpet" (Ps. xlvii. 5). See the whole of this exultant Psalm. 

Line 128. Before us now it rose, builded aloft, &c. 
The question has been keenly controverted whether the new Jeru- 
salem (Rev. xxi. xxii.) is actually the abode of the heavenly citizens, 
or only a representation of the Church Triumphant under the emblem 
of a city. The advocates of a purely symbolical meaning maintain, 
" The bride is a city, and the city is a bride: both expressions are 
therefore figures to describe the glorious community of ransomed 
Is, thr mystical body of Christ, and blessed company (A all faithful 



XII.] NOTES. 443 

people." But to this it may be sufficient to reply that, in the con- 
trasted case of Babylon (Rev. xvii. 1 — 3. 18), the woman is a city, 
and the city is a woman. Both expressions are figures to denote the 
apostate Papal Church. But this does not prevent the existence of 
the actual city of Rome, a material structure, which shall be con- 
sumed with material fire. The site and the buildings are, indeed, of 
very secondary importance to the character of the harlot Church who 
occupies them ; for it is her faithlessness which gives them all their 
disastrous significance. But there they are, seven hills crowned with 
edifices on the banks of the Tiber. So of the new Jerusalem : the 
city, it is true, is a type of a spiritual building compacted of living 
stones, which is growing an holy temple unto the Lord (Eph. ii. 21). 
But this does not preclude the possibility of an actual fabric, com- 
posed of heavenly material, which shall never be destroyed. Here, 
too, the site and the structure are of inferior moment to the virgin 
bride who shall dwell therein, for it is her saintliness which gives all 
its significance to her palace home. That home, however, exists, a 
glorious reality, an abiding city yet to come — a city which hath 
foundations, whose designer and builder is God. (See Heb. xi. 
10. 16 ; xiii. 14, which Scriptures strongly confirm this view.) We 
are thus irresistibly led to the conclusion that the heavenly Jerusa- 
lem here described is both real and typical — an actual city, of which 
every part typifies the spiritual temple of living stones. For as the 
glorified body will be the worthy habitation of the perfectly regene- 
rate spirit — a building of God, an house not made with hand?, eternal 
in the heavens (2 Cor. v. 1) — so the celestial city will be the meet 
dwelling-place of the saints for ever, and their spiritual characteristics 
will each and all find a counterpart in that marvellous structure pre- 
pared for them by their God. Hence it is by no means easy, nor 
perhaps is it always desirable, to interpret the various details here 
given. They awaken conceptions of delight which we cannot always 
define or describe. But let us suffer those images of glory to float 
through our mind, and to rest in our heart, until we exclaim — 

" Jerusalem ! Jerusalem ! would God I w^ere in thee ! 
When shall my labours have an end, thy joys when shall I see?" 

And perchance this unveiling of the glories to come has accomplished 
its chief intent: it has weaned us from earth: it has drawn us to 
heaven. 



444 NOTES. [book 

Line 144. The agate once Chalcedons peerless boast. 
The chalcedony was a striped agate found at Chalcedon. 

Lines 160—164. 
See Heb. viii. 5 ; ix. 23, and the important words regarding 
Solomon's temple, which are often forgotten when those regarding 
the Mosaic tabernacle are remembered, 1 Chron. xxviii. 11, 12. 19. 
Eegarding the temple likewise we are there assured " the pattern of 
all was by the Spibit," and was, we cannot doubt, only a more 
elaborate revelation of the heavenly sanctuary. 

Line 166. Some high ivatch among the lasting hills. 
Kev. xxi. 10. 

Lines 168—189. 
See Rev. iv. 1 — 11, and note on Book iv., lines 295—301. 

Lines 194—236. 
See note, Book x., line 415, and compare Col. i. 22 with Jude 24. 

Lines 237—252. 
Matt. xi. 27. Heb. i. 3. Rev. xix. 12. 

Lines 253—269. 
Ps. xcvii. 7, as unfolded Heb. i. 6. Eph. i. 20—22. Phil. ii. 
9—11. 

Lines 270—292. 

In these lines I have attempted to express thoughts contained in 
the following notes from my Commentary on 1 Cor. xv. 24 — 28 : — 

" And then, when the whole creation is thus subjected to the Son, 
who is the Creator and Heir of ail things, then shall the Son also 
Himself be manifestly subordinate, by His own willing and holy self- 
presentation of Himself and the ransomed universe to the Eternal 
Father. And so God will be all in all — not the Father without the 
Son, nor the Father and the Son without the co-eternal Spirit ; but 
Father, Son, and Spirit in the unity of the Godhead, being wor- 
shipped and adored by things in heaven, and things in earth, and 
things under the earth. 

" Of this profound mystery, when in the future glory the clouds 
of sin and sorrow shall be fbr ever swept away, perhaps the ex- 



XII.] NOTES. 445 

perience of saints, in their access to and communion with God on 
earth, may afford some faint adumbration. When in prayer they 
are most conscious of the struggle with unbelief and sin, how 
vividly they realize the mediatorship of the man Christ Jesus ; they 
seem to come first to Jesus, and, through Him, they have access by 
One Spirit unto the Father. But when God in Christ lifts- up the 
light of His countenance in clearest effulgence upon them, as they 
kneel at the footstool of the throne of grace, then it is often rather 
the Unity of Essence in the Godhead than the Trinity of Persons 
which fills and absorbs their souls ; they are in the presence of Him 
who is Love ; they dwell in God, and God in them. And at such an 
hour God to them is ' all in all.' " 

Line 327. His priestly abode within the Souse of God. 
Such appears to be the primary meaning of the words of our Lord, 
" In My Father's house are many mansions " (John xiv. 2) ; for 
He had already consecrated this name " My Father's house " to 
describe the temple at Jerusalem (John ii. 16). Heaven is thus 
revealed under the similitude of a temple, containing mansions for 
all the members of the royal priesthood. 

Lines 358—368. 

See Eph. iii. 10. 

Lines 369—390. 

" That in the ages to come He may show the exceeding riches of 
His grace in His kindness towards us through Christ Jesus" 
(Eph. ii. 7). 

Lines 393—410. 

St. Paul's words (1 Cor. xiii. 13) are express, "And note" (uvvl 6V, 
not referring to time, but to reality, " as the case really is") " abideth 
faith, hope, love." These three Divine graces are not like our im- 
perfect knowledge, and imperfect utterance, which will vanish away. 
These are imperishable and eternal. These abide for evermore. 
It is true that those things, which are now objects of faith and hope, 
will be objects of sight and of blessed fruition then; but to a finite 
being, however wide the expanse which is his own, there must ever 
be an infinite unknown beyond, and all that lies beyond the limit of 
his intuition will exercise faith and hope. These graces then abide. 
But love will ever have a supremacy over faith and hope, for it is 
the immediate reflection of Him who is love. 



ij'i NOTES. [BOOK 

Lines 411 — 454. 

Compare the prophetic Psalm, " I will declare Thy name unto My 
brethren : in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee" (in- 
terpreted of our Lord, Heb. ii. 12) : also His own words, " The time 
Cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in parables; but I 
shall show you plainly of the Father" (John xvi. 25) : and the 
Apocalyptic vision of the white-robed multitudes whom no man could 
number, " who are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and 
night in His temple" (Rev. vii. 15). 

Lines 455 — 482. 
See Rev. xxi. 2. 

Lines 482—490. 
If the earthly Zion is "an eternal excellency" (Isa. lx. 14, 15), 
and the holy land of promise is "an everlasting possession" secured 
by an everlasting covenant to Abraham and his seed (Gen. xvii. 7, 8), 
may we not humbly from analogy infer that other terrestrial locali- 
ties likewise will be recognized ? 

Lines 491—500. 
See Isa. xlix. 19, 20. 

Lines 501 — 513. 
" The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the 
Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Hab. ii. 14). 

Lines 514 — 525. 
See Rev. xxi. 3. 

Lines 526 — 545. 
" And the nations " [" of them which are saved :" these words are 
omitted in the best MSS.] " shall walk in the light of it " (Rev. 
xxi. 24). 

Lines 546—569. 
Compare Isa. lxvi. 24 with the solemn revelations of the end of 
the ungodly introduced once and again amid the glories of the 
eternal kingdom (Rev. xxi. 8. 27; xxii. 15). 

Lines 570—598. 
" Ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I 
have done in it, saith the JiOrd God" (Ezek. xiv. 23). 



XII.] NOTES. 447 

Lines 599— G33. 
For the proof from Holy Scripture that the human family, when 
sin and death are for ever overcome, shall go on multiplying its 
blessed generations without end, these notes are too limited to 
afford space. I must refer to the abundant evidence collated, in 
Birks* "Daniel," Vol. i., ch. xvi., and in his" Outlines of Unfulfilled 
Prophecy," ch. xv. : and also to a most thoughtful and suggestive 
work, recently published, Shepheard's Tree of Life. This we may 
well believe, that whereas it is recorded " God formed the earth and 
made it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited " 
(Isa. xlv. 18), the same untiring Goodness will in His own time 
people with intelligent worshippers the countless orbs of the 
heavens. Of the whole ransomed Church we are assured it is but 
" a kind of firstfruits of His creatures " (James i. 18). The illimit- 
able harvest is yet to be gathered in. May our hearts only be 
in unison with the inspired doxology (Eph. iii. 20, 21), "Now unto 
Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can 
ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him 
be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus unto all the generations of 
the age of the ages ! Amen." 



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